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Thankful and Blessed

Each morning when I wake I am always thankful to be blessed with another day. This morning when I woke I was reminded that 14 years ago I was at a stage 4 with cancer. December 2013 marks 14 years of me being cancer free.

I was at my best I thought 14 years ago. I had always been a clean eater, and at that time in my life I was spending 2-3 hours in the gym along with hiking regularly. I looked great but wasn't feeling great. I started having weird cravings for ice chips and carrots, and I was feeling tired and weak most days. But I continued life as I knew it. After months of ignoring how I was feeling I finally decided to search for a doctor. I grew up with home remedies and very little doctor visits - I am not one to have a family doctor. I decided to take the advice of a magazine that had a list of the top ten doctors in Phoenix, and was fortunate enough to get in. I struggled with the how's and the why me at the beginning. I shouldn't be sick with the healthy lifestyle that I lived, but all I could do was listen to my doctors and pray.

I had a prayer chain through my church and supportive friends and family through this journey. After several failed attempts of alternative treatments I decided on surgery. The day of my surgery as I was prepped and ready to go my pastor came in and said, " Lets pray before you go." I will never forget that in his prayer he said, " If there's any reason that Carolyn should not be having this surgery please reveal it to us." It was seconds later that my doctor came in and said, " Why didn't you tell me that you're anemic - we will have to do a few blood transfusions during surgery." That was my message from God - I got dressed and went home. Finally in December the surgery took place and I have been blessed with my health since.                            

Through this journey I have learned that I shouldn't ever question why me - why not me? I also embrace every single minute in my life and continue to listen to what my body is telling me.                                    

As for the carrot and ice chips cravings I learned that carrots fight cancer cells and the ice chips was because I was anemic. Who knew?

I am grateful for all of my problems. After each one was overcome, I became stronger and more able to meet those that were still to come. I grew in all my difficulties.
-- James Cash Penney


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