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The face of cancer

It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to be alive. Many times we take being healthy and being able to live an active life for granted. For some of us giving daily thanks or taking a minute to give thanks for all we have in our lives only happens during times of crisis. I’ve recently been reminded that every moment needs to be filled with love and happiness. For the past few days I’ve been going through some emotional turmoil but when I think about a certain friend I remember that what I’m currently struggling with is truly not that important or worth being uneasy over.

The face of cancer has been changing. Younger and younger people are being handed the “c” word much more frequently than ever and chances are most of us know someone who has been through the struggle. When I was 19 I had malignant melanoma that was removed from my left temple. It was caught early and I didn’t need any other treatment. When I was 28 I had an MRI on my back and it revealed a suspicious spot. I was told that my melanoma had returned, metastasized and was now in my bones. For weeks I visited doctors in the oncology unit, has bone density scans, PET scans, blood tests and cried myself to sleep every night wondering how this could have happened. I was misdiagnosed. The spot was nothing more than some blood cells that had clumped together. Life takes on a whole new meaning after going through something like that.

A friend of mine is now going through the same thing. I met Jessica at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition back in 2006. Jessica is a wonderful, kind, happy, energetic woman; she is a fabulous health counselor with a thriving business in Chicago and probably one of the healthiest people I know. Jessica is 31 and has been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Jessica is currently in Houston preparing for treatment.  Since Jessica and her husband are self employed their temporary health insurance runs out mid May and since Jessica now has lung cancer it won’t be renewed and obviously, since they are in Houston undergoing treatment they are not in Chicago making an income where their business CHEW Chicago is located. I hope you will read her story and say a prayer for them and possibly even make a donation.

After reading this I hope you will take a minute to be grateful for all that you have. I know it’s easier said than done, and it’s currently something I’m struggling with, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Things happen every day and as Andrew reminds me we have the right to choose how things are going to affect us. In the grand scheme of things some things really aren’t that important or worth taking the time to fret over. What matters is that we and our loved ones are healthy, happy and safe. Today I am grateful for the love of my family. What are you grateful for?

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