This summer was a wonderful reminder of seasons and purpose. I attended the birth of my fifth grandchild, celebrated my husband's 65th birthday and 2 grandsons birthdays. I also had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Santa Rosa to honor my niece, Paula Marie. My brother Jude, his wife Paula and my husband Terry and I walked around the track, looking at all the lovely luminaries, each one holding a story of courage and brave battles. As I walked, heard the speeches and looked at the video full of pictures honoring survivors as well as those who passed - I realized how remarkably strong these people are. Paula Marie and her family endured years of treatments, good news, bad news, and all the emotional ups and downs associated with this journey. We tend to honor athletes for their strength. But I realized - Paula Marie was really the strong one. Born with cerebral palsy and mild cognitive delays, she was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 13 necessitating a below the knee amputation. She and her family dealt with a reoccurrence at age 15 requiring partial removal of her left lung. She came through all that. I never saw her without a charming smile and a "Hi Aunt Joycie". She loved parties, went to school, participated in the Special Olympics, and had a boyfriend. At the tender age of 35, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was too much. After one more long and courageous fight, Paula Marie left us - in the loving arms of her mother, there when she came into the world and there to send her to heaven.
Thank you Jude, Paula, your family and especially Paula Marie for reminding us how to live, love and be in the moment.
Let's remember who the strong ones are and learn from them. Revealing unbelievable courage, they faced cancer diagnoses along with months, sometimes years of brutal therapy and unknown outcomes. 'There is a time for every purpose'. Take time for each purpose. Unplug. Don't hold grudges. Connect with others and focus on your life's purpose.
To support our ongoing purpose and to honor these heroes, Metahab has joined with Talos Health Solution and Esperity, A Worldwide Portal for Cancer Patient Information, in creating the first American Cancer E-Conference. This unique virtual conference, concentrating on posttraumatic growth, will be available in November to patients, families, caregivers and clinicians.
If you would like to support this event and find out more about it - go to www.americancancereconference.com and contact