I've always taken my physical health for granted. Even though I've definitely gotten sick on more than one occasion, I've never struggled with any chronic health problems, and I don't even have food allergies (that i know of). Ditto my parents, for the most part. My dad has struggled with gout in the past, but they're both pretty health-conscious themselves so I've never had to worry. My Mom's parents both died from complications with diabetes, so I have to be careful there, but really, that's about it.
Part of the reason I decided to eat vegan was because of all of the incredible health benefits associated with it. Per recommendation by many veggie blogs around the net, I listened to The China Study on my drive to Dallas this past weekend and learned how animal protein increases the risks of heart disease and cancer (American's top 2 killers), and how eating a plant-based diet can actually reverse the effects of heart disease. All good information, but not really applicable to me. I've never had to deal with heart disease or cancer in my family. I've never even been to a funeral.
And then, late on Saturday night, my Mom received a call from her oldest sister, my Aunt Jennifer, who lives in Canada. My Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Mel are like second parents to me, and they spent about a month in Dallas with my family over the Holidays. The last time I went to Dallas, actually, was to see them before they returned to Canada. They are incredible, incredible people, and despite the distance between us, I know they are always thinking of me and loving me just as much as my parents do.
So when I learned that Saturday night that my Uncle had been diagnosed with colon cancer and had emergency surgery, I was beyond devastated. I'm still devastated. I don't know how to process or deal with this information. I don't know how to express the fear, I don't know how to talk about it, and I don't know how to be optimistic. I have to be strong for my Mom, so she can be strong for my Aunt, but I don't know how. For my Mom, this is an even more difficult time. She is SO close to my Uncle Mel, and this is her dearest sister we're talking about. And what about my Aunt? My heart breaks for my Aunt, and the pain she must be going through.
I know I've already asked, but please please continue to keep my Uncle Mel and my Aunt Jennifer in your prayers/thoughts. And thank you for your kind words and support. This is uncharted territory for me, and I am forever grateful for your generous love.