Applied Health JournalTopics of Health and Natural Healing
November. A month in which we traditionally give Thanks. My favorite National Holiday is in November. Thanksgiving is when we get to surround ourselves with family and friends, and take a moment to really look around at the treasures in our lives. But rather than waiting for the actual day of holiday, I prefer to use every day in November to remind myself of the good things that may normally go unnoticed. This year, I have a more motivating reason to focus on finding things for which to be thankful. This has been a particularly challenging year due to a tragic loss in our family.
For the readers who have been following us for a number of years, you may remember the story of my nephew - my sister's son - who was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is a particularly insidious form of cancer that does not respond as positively to traditional methods of treatment as other forms of cancer.
One day, I will write a more detailed description of the events that transpired surrounding this experience. But for now, I wish to leave the description brief and mention it as the reason why this newsletter has been conspicuous by its absence. The daily demands that are involved in combating an aggressive disease is something that everyone can probably imagine, but rarely fully appreciate unless it has been experienced. During this unsettling period, I was without my most trusted associate. I was without my editor, my friend… I was without my sister, Tamara, who devoted unwavering support for her son, TJ.
As any loving mother might suspect, the world as you know it stops as you stand in defiance between a danger and your child. But when the threat is cancer, the vigil requires a more disciplined approach than simply extending claws and exposing teeth. I watched Tamara take her post beside her son's bed in April this year, sleeping on the floor beside him in both hospital and Hospice, never wavering from her mission. But after several months of facing a grim prognosis, this particularly stealthy form of melanoma consumed TJ's bones, puzzling the finest doctors, eventually leaving him paralyzed, and inevitably stopping the pain for good.
"Stopping the pain for good". Never before have I thought about what is perhaps the true essence of that phrase, until now. I delayed writing this first newsletter because I was not really sure how to begin. I considered avoiding the topic of our personal experiences and just writing about one of the many other items on my list. But perhaps it is appropriate that on this first day of the month dedicated to giving thanks, the item that I will first express thanks for, is that the pain finally stopped. The closest thing to a son that I have ever known is no longer suffering.
I also thank *you*, the reader, for indulging me as we reinitiate this newsletter. Stay with us in the weeks to come as we relate some topics that have been building to a boiling point in my head. One of the top items on my list is this whole fiasco about the COX-2 inhibitors, such as Vioxx. We will also revisit some of our past topics - like Aspartame - to see if there have been any advances on warning the public of the dangers. And, yes, from time to time, I will probably describe some of the things we have learned, both good and bad, during this trying time with my young nephew. And maybe one day, when she is ready, we will ask my sister to share some of her thoughts.
For now, even though some things in life may seem out of our control, we do possess the power to remind ourselves of the little things we appreciate.
November. It is a good month to be alive.
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