What Do You Say When Thank You Just Doesn't Cut It?

Over the weekend, I was treated to the most incredible show of support from friends, family, and strangers alike. What started as my bestie wanting to help me out in a big and hugely beneficial way, turned into a full-fledged community supported event created and hosted by Little Hoboken. I was floored. I’m still amazed at the love and generosity shown by everyone involved.

In August I was diagnosed, at age 40, with incurable stage 4 colorectal cancer. It was a life altering shock to say the least. I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter that needs her mother. I couldn’t let her down. So, I decided to stand tall and stay strong for her, for my husband, for my friends and family, and for me.

I’ve been fortunate so far. Chemotherapy is having minimal side effects on me and I’m still able to live my life almost as normally as before. But that could change in an instant. And so, I have to be vigilant and proactive in researching nutrition options and alternative therapies. Anything that can help my situation.

Through all of this I’ve also realized that I have a role to play. Life throws situations at you for a reason and I believe my position now is to educate. To show people that cancer can hit anyone at anytime. That you can look and feel fine and be in the greatest shape of your life and still have a terminal illness. 

So I encourage people to have a good relationship with your primary care doctor and to recognize and not disregard any changes in your general health. The only inclination I had that something was amiss was frequent bowel movements. Something so easily dismissed.

And the most important thing I can say is to take care of yourself. Both physically and mentally. I believe this has already helped my body to accept the demands Chemotherapy has placed on my body as well as keeping the right frame of mind and happiness level to stay strong through all of this. It will help me live a happier life for however long I’m here for.

So, to everyone who came and supported me, and particularly Melissa and Cassie from Little Hoboken, thank you immensely for showing me the love and encouragement of being part of a tight-knit community. And to Kelly Gottlieb, you have the heart of an angel. I am so blessed to have you holding my hand and walking beside me throughout all of this. 

If you’d like to follow my journey, please join me at www.tougherthanthis.wordpress.com.

 

Ali x

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HEADER PHOTO CREDIT: Danielle Guenther Photography

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