My wife Wendy periodically receives Facebook requests for her to “Hate Cancer.”

Yes, she does hate cancer, but she wants us all to actually be productive about what we do with our “hate.”

Wendy wrote on Facebook,  “I’m not a cut and paster, and certainly not a “hater,” so I have an alternative suggestion.  I just had the remarkable experience of visiting the National Cancer Institute at NIH, when my husband (a survivor of 5 separate unrelated cancers, including one metastatic, and one very rare) volunteered for a clinical trial.

The caliber of research and commitment there (and in so many of our universities and medical centers, and yes, even drug companies) is so inspiring, and the scientists and their work so impressive.

Please remember how much we need bright, dedicated clinical and research people to do this work, to fight this fight. It’s hard, and necessary. It’s also expensive. So don’t just “hate cancer,” but use that energy and passion to keep our politicians voting to fund research, to encourage and support young people interested in science, to make accessible and to help cover the needed but often expensive interventions, health care and medications; and to support the family members, care providers, friends and community that stand behind each patient.

Lobby your representatives, from the most local to national; take up and then model for others the healthy life choices that may help — if not avoid cancer, at least keep our overall health robust enough to withstand side effects.

Hating makes some of us feel even more hopeless and helpless; it takes too much energy away from the things we really can do to help!”