Part of being at FD camp is a nightly campfire where we wrap down the day. Last night Mateao (cancer survivor) posed the question: what has cancer given to you? what has it taken? People took turns as they shared the lessons that they learned, positive and challenging, from their cancer experiences- a series of short stories that blended and intertwined, amounting in a healthy dose of practical life knowledge.
It is easy to get caught up in the future- trading in being present in a moment to “what ifs” coming down the pipe. Along the same lines, that pace of life allows you to fly past other people and take things for granted. Listening to the stories of my new friends, I heard the reoccurring theme of gratitude, acceptance and mindfulness. This translates to taking life one day at a time. Accepting (instead of judging) the people around you, which allows for opportunities to be open, compassionate and thoughtful as a person. And, most importantly, living in the exact moment that you are in, instead of allowing your mind to dwell on the past or over plan your future.
Without experiencing it, cancer has given me a lot: opportunities like FD and Imerman Angels, and the stories of my new friends that I hope I’ll be able to share with others in the cancer community.
Another great night at FD-
Check out this article from the Daily Mail about a young cancer survivor who was cured in 3 hours!
Recovering: Darya Egorova had faced the threat of having her leg amputated
Diagnosed with bone cancer, Darya Egorova faced the very real threat of having a leg amputated.
Less than a year later though, the six-year-old is back on her feet and free of the disease – thanks to a revolutionary procedure that took only three hours.
She has become the first person in Britain to have a cancerous bone removed, treated with very high doses of radiotherapy and reinserted all in the same hospital.
Her family, who are from Russia, were distraught when they were told the options available in their home country for their daughter, who loves sport and dancing.
But a charity stepped in to fund the new procedure in Britain.
Last night Darya’s mother Irina, 41, said: ‘Given the surgical options my daughter was offered outside the UK, what surgeons have done is truly a miracle.
‘We came here full of fear but we received such kindness and generosity from the British people. We are eternally grateful.’
Darya was able to attempt to walk with crutches only two days after the operation, and left hospital within a week. Until now, doctors have had to send bone tumours by motorbike to another hospital to be treated before putting them back.
Now, the Harley Street Clinic in London has the facilities to carry out the full operation in one place. The move shortens the procedure by at least an hour and means less risk of complications and pain.
Darya, who was diagnosed with cancer last autumn, could have had the tumour removed in Russia-but this would have meant a larger piece of bone being removed, leaving her ankle immobile.
by Glamour columnist Erin Zammett Ruddy.
You can’t beat yourself up over stuff you can’t control
“I’m not saying I never felt sorry for myself, but once you accept that you’ve been dealt a bad hand, whatever that may be, you can focus on playing it the best way you can.”
Obsessing about your body is a giant waste of time
“It took a serious dose of life-is-short reality to start living a little more. So here’s a wake-up call from me to you: indulge. Quit worrying about the jiggle. Get out there and start carpe-ing the diem! You shouldn’t need a life-threatening event to do this stuff.”
Helping others really does help you
“Sure, my life revolves around cancer, but it’s cancer on my terms. It’s about my charity work and other patients and survivors I’ve met who’ve enriched my life in ways I didn’t even know it needed enriching.”
It’s OK to sweat the small stuff
“Sure, it would be great if we could all roam the earth with a Zen-like peace about us. But that’s just not realistic for me. Besides, sweating the small stuff every once in a while keeps us from sweating the big stuff, the stuff we can’t always control.”
Don’t keep it to yourself
“What I’ve learned: People want to listen and help; they just need a green light.”
Smile at the grouchy Starbucks barista
“I generally try to be kind; even a little friendliness can matter when you’re down and out. Some days, if a stranger simply holds the elevator for me, I feel just a bit better about my situation.”
The most important thing in life is family
Read the rest of the article at Glamour.com
Story From a New Friend (SFANF) is dedicated to facilitating the understanding and appreciation of diversity through education derived from real life stories.
Jonny’s close friend Kevin Smith is throwing a GREAT charity event this Friday, June 11th 8-10p, to spotlight a person doing great things in the community.
The cost for this event is FREE, but donations are welcome!
Bottle service is available for a donation of $250. (includes table and 1 bottle)
June 11, 2010
56 W. Illinois St.