Instead of Interstitial Cystitis becoming a curse for me it has become a life-changing gift.  I was devastated and angry when first diagnosed in 1983.  Then I was relieved to have a name for what plagued my every waking minute and interrupted my sleep.   In-between potty breaks I decided to fight rather than give up.  I went back to school and got my Master’s degree in Social Work.  I opened a holistic private practice and began to counsel among others, “IC” patients offering them hope and encouragement.  Creative ways to deal with pain emerged.
 
 
On August 28th while going through a divorce I was diagnosed with colon cancer and required surgery. While working to quickly close down my practice, I suffered a number Transient Ischemic Attacks (“mini strokes”) requiring carotid artery surgery a week after colon resection surgery. I was grateful I made preparations for such a crisis, but I also realized how unprepared I was.
 
 
As a young child my mom faced the loneliness of living apart from her divorced parents. She struggled growing up to achieve success in a world torn apart by World War II.
 
 
Melanie J. Barton
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida

Many cancer patients experience anxiety sometimes due to the cancer diagnosis, sometimes prior to the diagnosis for reasons not related to the illness.
 
 
In 2009 I was diagnosed with colon cancer, heavy metal toxicity and chronic Lyme’s disease and had five “mini-strokes”. I feared my days of serving others were over. Not so. You might ask yourself: “How can I serve others when my own life needs help?” You would be surprised. Here are some ways the Spirit has answered my prayers.