Welcome to NFD! I can visualize winter slowly fading away and soon days will be getting longer, warmer, and more colorful. We may have a bit of cold weather still, but as every year has before us, we are sure to come to a place of warmth, beauty, and new beginnings as spring rolls in.
In the world of cancer, March is the time to “go blue” for colorectal cancer awareness month. Did you know that 1,000,000 colon cancer survivors are in the United States? Or that colon cancer is 90% beatable when caught early? It’s true, according to The Colon Cancer Alliance. Since I have been involved with cancer as a public health professional, I have met several who have been diagnosed with colon cancer. Many of them are survivors. And I see and hear numerous other stories of others who have either heard the words “you have colon cancer” or have a loved one with colon cancer.
How many of you have reached that magical birthday where colon cancer screenings are recommended? I had my colonoscopy shortly after my “special” birthday and before I could come up with reasons to put it off. It was so not as bad as I thought it would be. I thought of my dear friend Dori in North Carolina who lost her husband Eric to colon cancer not so long before and just got my courage up and went and had the screening. If I can do it, YOU can do it, NFD friends! If you haven’t been screening, check out the resources at Colon Cancer Alliance. Consider dressing in blue as part of the CCA’s “Dress in Blue” event which takes place the first Friday in March every year. You can read more about it on their website at the link above.
There is also a different kind of “blue.” Just because the weather is getting prettier with lots of sunshine, there are many who are suffering from lingering effects of depression. As J.K. Rowling said, “It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness.” Or as someone else described, “And I knew it was bad when I woke up in the mornings and the only thing I looked forward to was going back to bed.” Depression is not the same as just being a little “blue,” though some of us may be suffering with the “winter blues” – or as I like to call it, the “blahs” -as well. We will have some great features this month on depression, getting your happy on and why humor can be so important not just for those who may be struggling with depression or the blues and blahs, but all of us. And of course we will have plenty of things to make you smile!
March is also awareness month for kidney cancer and multiple myeloma. These cancers often get overlooked but are cancers impacting our loved ones. Find out more about these cancers this month in NFD. Also, look for our regular features from Miss Jessica Meyer who is one of our favorite NFD contributors, and Chef Mary with another of her great recipes. It’s always a treat to see what both of these ladies have in store for us each month! Cheryl Whitt is BACK with a great look for your hair this spring, and read more from one of our new contributors, Cindy Small. Last but not least, we will have some great feature stories from the Untold project. If you haven’t heard about untold, check out our feature in the January 2018 NFD article. You will be amazed! March is going to be a great month!
Welcome to our new friends and welcome back to those who have been with NFD for a while. As a magazine originally created FOR and BY cancer survivors and co-survivors, we look to all of you as well as any and all who are looking for inspiration, education, and empowerment to tell us what you would like to see in our magazine. Please let us hear from you on how we can make this magazine the best it can be. I would love to hear from you! We are always adding new contributors as well, so consider writing for us.
March is going to be great, so let’s get going!
In closing, some words for those who are dealing with some “tough stuff” this “blue” season of March – or really at any time of the year, as well as words for all of us who may just need some uplifting words, are shared below. Sending everyone vibes of peace, compassion, and kindness!
Be educated, empowered, INSPIRED, and stay SURVIVOR strong!