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New Life, New Outlook

I believe life is circular. We have our ups and we have our downs. My daughter getting cancer at the young age of 25 was definitely a down-time for us. But then she got her good news – her cancer responded well to treatment and she did not have cancer anymore. We were all excited and living on this up-side of life. But then things changed again.

Returning to life after cancer

After getting her cancer-free diagnosis, Crystal had to go back to work and back to her life. She had been gone for 6 months, but the harder part of going back was that she had been new to the area, to begin with. She didn’t have many friends to keep her company. Crystal moved because she had gotten a new job.

Just as she was starting to get acclimated to the area and her new home, she found out she had Hodgkin lymphoma. She had to uproot her life again to come home and get treatment. It was a good thing she did because the chemo made her very ill. There was no way she would have been able to live on her own, let alone stay at her job. At home, I would be able to care for her and take her to her treatments. It was what I wanted to do and what she needed. She was sad to leave her new home but happy to be at her old home. She hadn’t lived at home since she was 18 and she was glad to be back with family.

When she got better, we all celebrated. However, the good news came knowing she had to go back home and back to her life. It was a little scary for her and she didn’t want to go at first. Crystal was very lucky. She was able to keep her job and found an apartment that was in her price range pretty quickly. She had a few friends that she stayed in touch with and they helped her out a lot.

Paying it forward

Crystal had been sad that she lost so much, but she now had a new outlook for her life. She wanted to get rid of all the negatives in her life and start to focus on the positives. She was grateful she made it through her treatments and was now better. Crystal volunteered for a few local cancer organizations and got funding to make bags for newly diagnosed cancer patients. She hoped to make a difference in the lives of others and wanted to pay forward all the kindness she received while she was sick.

Moving on but continuing to support other cancer patients

What Crystal found is that doing kind things really helped her. It made her feel good and she continues to volunteer her time even now, over a year later. She was so appreciative of all the support she received that she wanted to try and support others. Because of her volunteering, Crystal has made some new friends, was asked to speak at events, got to go on retreats, but, most importantly, felt good that she was helping to make a difference in some people’s lives. As a bit of advice, if you know someone going through treatment or even just a rough time, surprise them with a gift or a meal. It will make their day, and it might even make your day too!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ramae Hamrin moderator
    3 weeks ago

    Crystal has had quite the journey at such a young age. It is inspiring to hear how she is giving back to the community! I couldn’t agree more about surprising people with a gift or a meal during a rough time. Rarely do people admit their need for help and support, but we all know how loved we feel when someone reaches out. What a beautiful reminder, Ann!

  • Ann Harper moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    @ramaehamrin Thank you. I was very proud of her for doing that and she made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    3 weeks ago

    Ann, this was so lovely! I’m glad Crystal found hope in giving back. At times it’s our small gestures in helping others in the same boat, that can be so gratifying. Wishing you both the very best!

  • Ann Harper moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    @yolandabrunson-sarrabo – yes, her doing this not only helped her to feel good, but also those she was able to gift the bags to.

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