Fighting Back Gratitude

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2016 is Going to Be Epic

The month of March is an important month for many reasons. It was the month I was diagnosed four years ago. It’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. My birthday happens in March. All good stuff, right?

But there’s more …

I enter the month of my diagnosis anniversary with word from my surgeon, the eminent Dr. Greg Midis, that after my August appointment I can consider myself cured of cancer. CURED! How amazing is that? Considering that just a few appointments back Dr. Midis told me I shouldn’t be here, I’m grateful to my God to be on this side of the dirt.

I’m also grateful to all of the people who have supported me in one way or another during the last four years. No one gets through an experience like cancer alone.

Gratitude will play a lead role in my personal observance of Colorectal Cancer Awareness/Diagnosis Anniversary/Birthday Month.

Several times in the recent past, I have observed Lent by handwriting a thank you note to someone in my life every day. That’s how I’m going to celebrate all that is wonderful about the month of March.

I’m tackling my second Spartan Sprint on Saturday, March 5. I have had the immense privilege of training for the last four months with an amazing group of people on my PTI Spartans Team. I expect I’ll do well and finish the race, and I can’t wait to get started on my next challenge.

I have a couple of speaking gigs this month and a handful of media appearances, all related to spreading the word about colorectal cancer awareness and the importance of research.

You might be asking, how can I spend so much time talking about something that was so horrible? Yes, hearing the words “you have cancer” was horrifying and I wouldn’t wish chemotherapy, radiation treatment, surgery, a colostomy or neuropathy on anybody. BUT, my life is so much richer because of the experience.

I talk very openly about my cancer journey because I hope to help foster understanding, urge people to get screened, and, just maybe, inspire people to think and to live beyond their immediate circumstances.

Happy Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to my fellow survivors. To everyone else, if you are eligible because of your age or risk, get screened for colorectal cancer. Do it!


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