Saturday, October 31, 2009


Cancer changes people. The disease transforms one's physical apperance, mental state of mind, and outlook on life.

Dark brown hair becomes gray. Long hair dwindles away with every chemothearpy treatment. Pounds sheds off once full hips. Voices become deeper. Arms become weaker. Eyes become darker.

The mind becomes a new world. Thoughts of death surface daily. Prayers and encouragements ease in from the love and support of others. Should-have-dones and what-if lists fill the empty spaces that were once focused on the t0-do list. Days become sadder and the hours become shorter. Of course, this phase doesn't always last forever; the important part is to remember "this too shall pass."

Life becomes a different journey. Goals, experiences, and obligations all change. Sky diving becomes a better option than going to work. Traffic jams just really don't matter. Spending time with one's family sounds more pleasing than a business meeting. Why does it take getting cancer to realize the way one lives each day?

I don't have cancer. But I have interviewed patients with the life threatening disease, all of which made me cry as they opened up about their deepest thoughts and darkest moments of their life.

A man who lost his wife to breast cancer and his daughter to brian cancer was diagnoised with prostate cancer three years ago. His inital doctor told him that it didn't matter what kind of treatment he recieved because his chances of survival were the same, slim. He was a 9 out of 10 on the Gleason Scale, which meausres the risk of reoccurance of the cancer based on the biospy. After treatment at the Saint John's Cancer, a combination of chemothearpy and 52 radiation treatments, he is cancer free. Driving his hot rod car, so fast that his cheeks wiggle up and down, reminds him the rush that one recieves when we really live life.

Another man diagnoised with colon and rectal cancer reminds everyone that cancer is not automatic death sentence. Cancer gave him a reason to live. The hopeful man shares his story with others reminding them about the importance of maintaining a healthy life style and prevenative health screenings. "Cancer and death-," he said then paused. He looked around the room and starred back into my eyes and said with confidence, "I have no fear anymore."

My best friend's dad just found out he has esopogual cancer. He starts radiation on Nov. 9. Blood test will indicate if the disease has traveled to other parts of his body. His health and her family haven't escape my mind. I believe their faith and treatment plan will be crucial to his battle with cancer. He is a fighter and a believer, a perfect combintation to overcoming cancer.

My biggest thought from this blog is that we shouldn't wait until we get cancer to realize what we should have done and where we should have gone. Cancer shouldn't be the reason we call someone just to say, "I miss you." Every single day should be lived with our best intentions. We should remember to follow a path that leads us to our hopes and dreams.

Remember- life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to the events in your life.

Choose wisely what matters to you.

The Beginning

The beginning of most events, people, and places are usually the best. We are taught this from the beginning of time, the day we are born. Our birthday is one of favorite days of the year, it was the beginning of our life- we must celebrate.

The first few weeks of any relationship are always the best. The kisses that give you butterflies. The back rubs at night that make you fall asleep in each others arms. The constant text messages that one day will become extremely abnoxious.

Those feelings don't always fade away; however, I'll never forget the first night meeting Justin. Neither of us wanted to go to the party, but mutual friends dragged us along. I was drinking and he was smoking, not an attractive combintation on our parts. He introduced himself as, "The Cool Guy That Hangs Out Here." I laughed in his face with my piercing machine gun laugh and said, "I'm Ashley Mother &$R#@@! Bedwell- never forget it!" -- And walked on. Our paths crossed on the stairs again. Desperate for a beer pong partner (I know, you think we are so classy), I grabbed him and forced him down the stairs. While I could quite possibly be the worst beer pong player on the face of the earth, we won that game. We made the final cup, at the same time, to win the game. I wrapped my arms around him and said, "YOU ARE MY SOULMATE!"

---How funny the story is this day as those sounds still ring so true. We are getting married May 15, 2010. I can't wait, but those first few weeks of the relationship were still some of the best during my short 22 years of life.

And places. The first day of school is always the best. I remember being about seven years old. Going back to school shopping was my favorite time of year. New clothes. New caroyns. Heck, even new glue got me all excited. Maybe that is why we were so happy in our youth. We could really take time to enjoy the small simple pleasures in life.

Today marks the beginning of my blog. A place for me to grow as a writer, to complain about my day, to laugh about my akward moments, and reach out to people through my biggest passion in life; writing.