Often when a person is diagnosed with cancer they feel scared and alone. Because CML is such a rare form of cancer the likelihood of running into someone during your everyday life, is unlikely. But because so many people are now connected through the internet and Facebook, we are able to reach out to others with CML for support and camaraderie.
This reaching out and connecting allows us to become a part of each other’s lives; we are able to share our fears and concerns, and our hopes and dreams. We can moan and groan and search for remedies to our side effects and talk about how forgetful we have become. We can discuss the latest and greatest news on CML, and we can celebrate all of our milestones.
Unfortunately, this week we have also had to share our grief as we lost one of our own. With the passing of MichaelCranford, our own mortalities are brought back to the surface. Some of us are walking down the same road as Michael, and others will walk down that road in the future. It is terribly sad and can also be frightening.
Michael’s passing reminds those of us living with CML that while there are great strides being made on the CML front; CML is still a rare form of cancer and can be deadly. Fortunately many, many of us are responding magnificently to our treatment and will live full, long lives; but for others, the road is not smoothly paved; it is bumpy.
This may be scary to many and should not be taken lightly, but it should not become our focus. For those of us “Living well, with CML” we should be cognizant of the seriousness of our disease, yet eternally grateful for our positive response to treatment. We should count our blessings and live each and every day to its’ fullest.
I know that sometimes this is easier said than done as we often suffer from side effects that make us want to crawl under the covers and stay there all day, but I’ll bet that Michael wishes that he was still around to experience side effects; and still around to endure these side effects until hopefully someday, a cure will actually be found.
We all must remember how great the strides in CML research are, and how great they are likely to be in the future. We can hope that someday they will develop a treatment with greater success and fewer side effects and yes, we must all hang on to the ultimate hope: a cure. They have come so far, I believe that we will live to see the day! I am an optimist and am always looking for the silver lining; right now that silver lining is a greater appreciation of my life, and the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people.
In the meantime, it is our job to adhere to our treatment and to live the healthiest lifestyle that we can; and yes that means our diet and exercise! We need to feed our bodies a plant based diet, exercise our lungs, heart and muscles, and get out and breathe some fresh air. For me that means getting this posted and dragging my butt for a walk around our neighborhood!
In closing; the internet has allowed us to connect and share our lives, and to meet a special CML warrior; Michael Cranford. In his honor we should all live the best life that we are capable of. I offer blessings to you Michael, and condolences to your family.
You will not be forgotten.