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Honoring Cancer Survivors

Next week is National Cancer Survivor's Day, so this week's blog is dedicated to the story that started Be Well HWC. My mom's story. 💜

In 2014, my life changed forever.

After a few years struggling with pain, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. The full (and admittedly horrific) story is too long for the blog, so if you want all the details, be on the lookout for this story in my book later this year 👀

Once she was diagnosed, my mom was told that her tumor was inoperable and she began chemo. After that, they suggested she do radiation. And then more chemo.

She was sick and getting sicker.

And then it felt like the clouds broke! She landed a spot at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan, Georgia. They had a plan and it was a good one.

At CTCA, my mom underwent another round of chemo- a longer one this time. And while she did that, she also received naturopathic care, nutrition consults, massage therapy, acupuncture, and more.

This was the first time anyone in my family had really been introduced to holistic care.

These were taken the day before mom's first chemo treatment in June 2014

Holistic care often gets a "hippie" rap sheet, but the definition of "holistic" is "characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease."

That means treating the disease traditionally with chemotherapy, but also treating her whole body with tools to help her feel like a normal person while going through a rather dehumanizing battle.

We believe to this day that God and holistic care saved her life.

So that's why I'm offering you a holistic option.

Not always as an answer on its own, but as a tool that you can use to feel like a whole, healthy person again.

But this is different. It isn't the hospital setting where I only have time to breeze over the "big stuff" with you.

This is your livelihood, and I honor that so deeply. Your care and understanding of nutrition and your health is priority #1 around here. You're not another number to us- you're a life that we can improve so that you can go out and make a positive impact in someone else's life.

I've always had an affinity toward entrepreneurship. My parents owned a successful construction company when I was growing up so a 9 to 5 job wasn't the norm for me. I grew up watching my mom drop us off and pick us up from school, opening the summers by "having lunch" at Sam's Club sample stands, and having (the best) nanny for a few hours a day while my parents went to job sites.

To many, it may not sound "normal"- but I decided yesterday in the car that normal is the most abnormal thing there is. Each and every one of us experience a different sense of normalcy every single day and my normal doesn't change your normal just like yours doesn't change mine.

There is so much room for different in this world, so we choose to embrace that.

This business has an abnormal design compared to the current fitness industry because we are designed for people who live their own "normal" lives.

It is the highest honor to play a part in your health journey because of how intricate, intimate, and individualized it is.

Nutrition isn't just about food. It's about what it does for your body and, therefore, your life. How much more you can experience and enjoy things from a place of true health.

Last day of chemo treatment- spring 2017

So whether you have or have had cancer, know someone with cancer, or you are at an increased risk of developing cancer (or any other chronic disease for that matter), we are here for you. You are the heart of what we do and why we do it.

Your story matters. You make a difference.

Raise a glass with me today in honor of all cancer survivors. To their families and to the healthcare practitioners who got them to today.

This one's for you, momma 💙

*Family portraits by Anderson Photographs (Melanie Anderson + team)- June 2014, day before first chemo treatment

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