Today Is National Cancer Survivors Day

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For all of those who have survived cancer, and for those who are finding themselves faced with and in the middle of dealing with their diagnosis and treatment - today is a day to both celebrate and also to inspire those fighting that there is hope - and the odds don't matter.  This can be beat!  

I'm pretty sure that each person reading this post has someone in their immediate lives that has fought a cancer diagnosis.  It touches us all.  More people than ever are surviving this disease.  There are some things that we probably don't take into consideration when it is not our personal heath that is compromised.  Just a few thoughts on understanding, and being compassionate to those who have dealt with and are dealing with this battle.  I think it is very easy for us to remove ourselves from the reality that our friends are loved ones are living.

Surviving cancer is just one piece of the puzzle.  Think of the following struggles that also occur in the wake of this disease.  There are physical challenges, emotional challenges, and often financial burdens that have resulted from doctor's visits, hospital bills, and missed work days.   Sometimes it is hard to find a specialist - health insurance and life insurance coverage may be denied.   There is also the fear that the cancer will return.  We all need to remember that just because the cancer is cured, and we are celebrating it's riddance that doesn't mean that there still isn't a struggle and a lot of anxiety for the person who has been in the fight.

I personally know many friends and family who have fought and won this disease.  I would say that I know 12 people who have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer - and luckily I know 11 of them as survivors!

The following statement is from the National Cancer Survivor's Day website: 

The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation believes that more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation are needed to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors – during and after treatment. We urge everyone who participates in National Cancer Survivors Day celebrations to not only recognize those who are living with a history of cancer but also raise awareness of the hardships cancer survivors face beyond treatment.

I want to thank Heather Von St. James for making me aware that National Cancer Survivors Day exists.  10 years ago Heather was given 15 months to live after receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.   Please click here for more information on mesothelioma.  Heather says that as she stands here today overwhelmed with joy because she outlived her diagnosis she has one mission - to have as many people as possible help her spread awareness.  I'm not the most organized all the time, but this was something I wanted to take the time to write about, and to help her get the word out.  It also gave me time to reflect on those I know that have battled cancer, and to really think more about what they have gone through.  They all show such strength so it is sometimes easy to not really think about what they have endured.

Please take a moment to watch Heather's video - she is such an inspiration - and I love the attitude she possesses.  I think that really makes a difference - the positive thinking and having hope -  though I understand it sadly isn't always enough I really think it can be so helpful - even in everyday normal life when not facing down a giant like cancer.  That is something that everyone can take with them! As Heather says, "with hope, the odds don't matter"

Maybe you would also like to spread the word - if so please feel free to share this on your social media, write your own blog post about Heather's story or about someone you love.  Why not use the entire month of June to spread this message :)   

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