A Thoughtful Process @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Cancer #RRBC

A lady I was acquainted with many years ago was a consultant dermatologist at the hospital where I  worked.

Her skin was like porcelain, almost translucent. Her mantra was always to never let your skin be exposed to the sun.

She was white and very attractive, turning the men’s heads where ever she went.

She lived alone, and on rare occasions spent some time in London with a mutual friend.

Sadly, I learned that at the young age of fifty, she died of stage 4 bowel cancer.

How and why I kept asking, should one so young, so careful with her knowledge attained through her working life about the dangers of too much exposure to the sun, be unfortunate enough to have her life end this way?

Was it because she paid more attention to her skin than to her dietary intake?  Did loneliness play a part?  Was she simply unlucky?  Or, was it just an act of God?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

22 thoughts on “A Thoughtful Process @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Cancer #RRBC

  1. Joy, that is certainly a sad story, but I don’t think there is any one answer. There could have been some hereditary issues, some she may not have even known about. My first son-in-law got leukemia and died at 43, no known reason, no family history. When I think of these things, I tell myself we must appreciate our lives and health and enjoy/utilize every moment! I love your blog picture -good luck!!

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  2. Joy, what did she miss? That is the $64K question. And why was she so lonely? There could have been a number of reasons. She probably never thought to explore them.

    Thanks Joy for sharing your story with us.

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  3. Hello Nonnie,you may be absolutely right.I personally don’t believe that all that happens is the will of God. Rather believing that to a great extent we are masters of our own destiny and live by the decisions we make in all things. However, my story suggests you could be correct in your assumptions.

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  4. Joy, I am so sorry to hear of your friend’s passing! I do not know or understand how to deal with something like this. I often ask why but don’t often have the answers. Sadly, some of these things run in the family, which still brings forth the question: why? I just hope her death was not too painful. Take care. -Pamela

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    1. Thank you Pamela,I did not know this lady well,more an aquaintance,however, I found her life to be such a sad affair. And cannot truely answer the questions I have asked of others, myself. I guess I am looking for answers to a dilemma that may be impossible to answer.

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  5. Hi, Joy,
    I don’t believe that it was a act of God. Fact is that we all must die unless Jesus returns to the earth first as it is written in the book of Revelations. No one knows how long they will live. That is why it is so important to be gracious and kind to others and especially to those who you love and admire. This life is so short and no one, absolutely no one, has a guarantee.
    My heartfelt condolences for your friend who is no longer there.
    Shalom aleichem

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    1. Hello Pat,and thank you for your kind words. You are right of course life is the eternal mystery.I try always to think of others and be kind and caring towards everyone I meet as we do many in the RRBC GROUP.

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  6. Hi, Joy! I’d rather not assume anything about the woman you speak of. Some things like healthy diet, exercise, staying away from drugs/alcohol, etc. can help fortify the body against certain cancers, but it’s not 100% protective. Sometimes, cancers are genetic. Sometimes, they are the bad luck of the draw.

    I bask in the sun almost every weekend at the beach, all year long. Of course, I wear spf protection and constantly reapply, but I get my healthy share of vitamin D from the sun as often as I can. My dermatologist says my skin is healthy, and as long as I’m okay with a few sun spots here and there, I’m perfectly fine. My sister-in-law, who rarely goes in the sun, found skin cancer on her nose. There is no rhyme or reason.

    Like Marian, the lesson I take from this is to enjoy life for every moment we are given because each moment is a blessing, and we are never guaranteed another. 🙂

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    1. Yes, Yvette there is no rhyme or reason in how are lives turn out.We can of course do much to improve our chances as my friend did with stearing clear of sunshine,only to die of another form of cancer. Take care with your sun worshipping, even sun screening can fail to protect.

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      1. I am quite careful. I’m always sitting under an umbrella and reapplying my sunscreen. If I’m kayaking, I’m wearing spf, long sleeved shirts. AND I see my dermatologist every year without fail. 🙂

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  7. Hi Joy–Though there are outside factors that contribute to cancer (smoking, exposure to carcinogens, exposure to sun), it also strikes people who have healthy lifestyles. My daughter-in-law died of colon cancer at the age of 44 years even though she had a healthy lifestyle and exercised.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your sad story with us Linnea.How hard it is when we loose family members at such a young age.It is a fact of Western diets that we do not consume enough roughage. My short piece touches on the possibilty of neglect in that direction.For others no obvious reason as to why bowel cancer is so prevelent in the U.S. and U.K.is ever discovered.

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  8. Hi Joy, everyone has cancer cells in there body and some develop and some don’t. Why did my mom get breast cancer? No one else in her family has had it so there was no past history. Because she had it, my three sisters and I are all considered high risk despite there being no other family history of breast cancer. Many of us take preventative measures to try and prevent cancer and other dreaded disease but that doesn’t always prevent it. Some people who drink heavily and smoke heavily all their lives escape any dreaded disease. Life is unfair that way.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Robbie.I am sorry to hear about your Mother.As you know there is a propensity for it to follow the female line.I believe we all try to keep cancer at bay,but with the latest statistics in the U.K. saying one in two of us will have it at some time in our lives that suggests that with whatever we do 50% will get it in some from or another. Perhaps suffice it to say ‘It is the luck of the draw.’

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  9. I like short blog posts, Joy. This one was sad though.

    You asked for my thoughts: Genetics, among other factors, can play a part in susceptibility to cancers. I doubt there’s much of a connection between degree of sun exposure and bowel (colon?) cancer though. I take your story as a reminder to make each day count however long, or short, our lives may be. Thanks! 😀

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  10. Hi, Joy! How sad for this woman. But, in response to your questions, I believe that whatever happens to us in life, is God’s will, so no matter how she cared for her skin or the other precautions she may have taken in life, her life had already been planned long before she exited her mother’s womb. Cancer is sad and scary for anyone; I don’t even like hearing the word spoken. But, we live the life we are given and when it is our time to go, we move on to another place.

    Thank you for sharing this thoughtful piece 🙂

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