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I just got off the phone with a dear friend of mine who is in treatment for breast cancer. Before getting cancer, she had been a raw foods gourmand, acupuncturist, healer and midwife. She thought she had it all figured out, that if she just did all the “right” things and walked a “righteous” path physically, spiritually and emotionally, disease would just pass her by. It did not. Now she says, “I can’t believe I was ever so arrogant to think that I had such control.” The real trick, she has discovered, is not trying to control everything but to accept with grace whatever your journey might throw your way.

“I am not a cancer survivor,” she says. “I’m just a person on a journey that includes cancer.”

I understand all of what she says because I’ve been there. I was a vegetarian for 16 years, took supplements, did yoga and walked my own “righteous” path. But my clean living was not enough to protect me from getting lymphoma at age 30. I felt for a long time as if I must have done something wrong, that perhaps I just hadn’t been “good enough” to avoid cancer. That’s sad, isn’t it? At a certain point, though, I stopped asking “why” because it’s such a waste of time. I had cancer, and that was just part of my journey. Read the rest of this entry »