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Just a Thought

As February 4 is recognized as World Cancer Day, I started thinking about the many family members and friends I know and love who have been affected by this disease. The list of those individuals is long, much too long as far as I'm concerned.

My sibling, an in-law, a dear friend from high school, and my nephew are just a few of the many around me that have been diagnosed. I remember vividly hearing the details of each one's diagnosis. And then I, probably like so many others, went directly to the internet, read about that type of cancer, saw some random statistics, and feared the worst.

Still, as I followed each one's journey battling the disease, I realized the one thing they all

had in common was hope. Whether it was hope through their faith and spirituality, hope through the support of their family and friends, or hope through the medical advancements made—that feeling of optimism I believe made a difference.

And seeing that, some of my fears slowly began to fade as I saw their progress. Some of those I know have won their battle and some are still in the thick of it and their outcomes are unknown but they are fighting and determined to win.

In certain cases, such as my sibling and

my in-law, it's amazing that what used to consume our conversations for so long such

as surgery, scans, doctor's appointments, treatments, and results, no longer dominate our discussions. Because they are doing so well, our conversations now revolve around work, kids, sports, vacations etc. And for that I am truly grateful.

And they themselves have tried to turn their illness into something positive. My sibling now volunteers to drive cancer patients to treatment and so many others have tirelessly fundraised or given their time to many other cancer causes. Still, I'm not living in a bubble. I understand all too well that not every cancer diagnosis has a fairy tale ending. I've been on that side of the disease too.

So to all those who are on the front lines fighting this disease—your courage and strength are beyond measure. Cancer is

cruel, cancer affects so many, and yes, cancer sucks. But now when I hear of someone I know diagnosed, I first try to remember there are advancements, there is awareness and education, but most of all, there continues to be hope.


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