Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah’s Legacy

Farrah Faucett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, it spread to her liver in 2007 and today she lost her three and a half year battle against the disease. Known for her charm and incredible beauty on screen, she would later become known for her brave and indelible spirit as she chronicled her painful struggle in the television documentary “Farrah’s Story.”

“Cancer is a disease that is mysterious, headstrong and makes its own rules,” Fawcett said in the documentary. “And mine, to this date, is incurable. I know that everyone will die eventually, but I do not want to die of this disease.”

Farrah’s willingness to share this private part of her life with the world served to focus our attention on the issues of cancer. Her documentary dealt with the issues surrounding how we each must eventually face our own mortality and the deeper story of watching a cultural icon fight a cancer diagnosis. The transparency of Farrah’s personal story unveiled to the world that if a vibrant celebrity with money and quality healthcare can still suffer and ultimately loose the battle against cancer, then the same can apply to any of us.

I believe Farrah’s inner strength was a beacon to all of us about the immediate necessity to direct our energies toward finding a cure for cancer. It seems almost impossible to me that in America today, with all of the technology and brilliant scientific minds working on finding a cure, our battle against cancer remains elusive. How can it be that the global wide medical community is still unable to find a cure to a disease that has undoubtedly touched at least one person in your life? For detailed information about this specific issue I encourage you to read through the Stand Up to Cancer website at:

Today I read that 47 million people in America still do not have healthcare insurance. I can not begin to imagine having to deal with this issue if I were sick, without health insurance, and facing end of life issues.

Farrah’s long-time friend Alana Stewart was quoted saying, “Her big message to people is don’t give up, no matter what they say to you, keep fighting.” At the conclusion of the documentary, Fawcett was seen shaving off most of her trademark locks before chemotherapy could claim them. Toward the end, she’s seen huddled in bed, barely responding to a visit from her son. But this is not how I will remember Farrah Faucett. NBC estimated the May 15, 2009, broadcast of “Farrah’s Story” drew nearly 9 million viewers. Through all the setbacks in her medical prognosis, Farrah’s story opened our eyes to the need to take action now as we continue our collective hope for a better day. A day when no person will be forced to face a cancer diagnosis.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hope for a Better Day

I remember the moment the doctor told me. I had lunch with a girlfriend after the appointment and asked for her prayers. I knew from the beginning that everything in my life happens for a reason, I just didn’t know what it was.

I filled my mind with positive affirmations, using them as my shield to protect me as I underwent radiation and chemo treatment. God was with me I felt him there and knew I was never alone. My focus was razor sharp from the outset, the mission was to kill my tumor and regain the most important thing in my life -- my health.

Your life may feel overshadowed with fear of the unknown. Much like the ego, cancer has the ability to fill you with doubt. The miracle minded are not naive about darkness; we don’t carry around cans of pink paint and pour it over everything so we can pretend things are fine. Our power comes in facing our fears and believing our minds and our spirit have the power to heal.

Conquering a life threatening illness demands deep self evaluation. Following my second round of chemo when my white blood count had become nonexistent, I was hospitalized in an isolated sterile room. It is during these dark hours you can not afford to question your ability to heal. Now is the time to take stock in your power to slay the dragon.

At that moment my path shifted, my mission was forever changed and the wisdom of the ages became clearer. Marianne Williamson says, “Love is to fear what light is to darkness; in the presence of one, the other disappears.” Looking around me, I saw so many brave and powerful people overcoming life’s greatest health challenges. It was in that moment that I understood love is an ever-renewable spiritual resource. I can give it away and it comes back me in spades.

We each have things we are called to do in this life to fulfill the calling of our souls. It’s a challenge to be the person we’re capable of being in any given moment. In the end, it was my cancer that challenged me to dig deeper and explore who I really am and how I might choose to live differently. My hope for a better day brought me to a place that dissolved my pain and inspired me to never loose sight of my compassion for others.