Have a cancer story you’d like to share? | PostIndependent.com

Have a cancer story you’d like to share?

Drew Munro
From the Editor
Drew Munro
Byron Hetzler | Sky-Hi Daily News

Several years ago, I participated in my first Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society’s nationwide fundraiser to battle the dreaded disease.

My participation was not merely a community-minded undertaking; it was personal. My father had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. The thought of it fueled me for lap after lap through the night on that cold high school track, and the hopes and wishes scribbled on the luminaria lining the infield touched me more personally than I could have imagined.

A serious operation and several years later, I’m happy to report that my father is still kicking and as ornery as ever. And since then, several people near and dear to me have been diagnosed and are in remission, including from some forms of cancer that, judging by what I am able to learn online, were as recently as last year considered virtual death sentences.

My experience is far from unique. Most of our lives have in some manner been touched by cancer. We all know someone who has been afflicted or know someone who knows someone. It’s just a matter of degrees, and usually not six degrees at that.

Fortunately, more and more of us are, like me, still blessed by the presence of the survivors in our lives. But, unfortunately, not all of us.

In any event, most of us have a story to tell. Next month, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent will be producing its second edition of Cherish, a publication dedicated to honoring those whose lives have been touched by cancer. Last year, dozens of cancer survivors, fighters and families shared their cancer stories with readers. We’re hoping to be able to include more of those inspiring and touching journeys in this year’s edition.

Please email your stories to community@postindependent.com with “cancer stories” in the subject line and we’ll do our best to include your story in this year’s edition of Cherish. The deadline for stories is Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Photographs are a welcome addition to all stories and can be included in the email. The photo files should be the original size for best reproduction results.

Information about the people who helped during your cancer journey is helpful as well; that is, the names and connections of the “support team” that helped along the way.

We look forward to sharing your stories.

The reluctant retailer

On a completely different note, I once lived in a small town where the local hardware store was operated by a woman I’ll call Betty. Betty was kind and likable, and she and her husband were civic-minded to boot.

But Betty had a peculiar aversion to selling certain things in her store, those being the last one of any particular item. I once went into her store and found the exact self-adhesive cork tiles I was seeking. The two packages on the shelf also happened to be the precise number necessary to complete my project.

All of which in a small town on a Sunday qualifies as a lucky day. Except it was Betty.

“I can’t sell you both of those,” she said, giving me an earnest look of concern.

“Huh? Why not?” I responded, a bit dumbstruck.

“Because then I won’t have any more to sell to the next person.”

The term “restocking” came to mind, and it occurred to me that the “next person” wouldn’t be able to buy the item either unless the term restocking occurred to Betty. But, having been forewarned about this intractable idiosyncrasy, I didn’t push it.

However, I was less than pleased and left her store with one package of cork tiles and the certain knowledge that my project’s completion would have to await another day. And Betty had alienated an otherwise loyal customer.

I remembered this story the other day when a Marine of 17 years who was passing through Glenwood Springs called me. He had been re-stationed from New York to California and was shepherding his family caravan through the area. As it happened, a large chest freezer packed with precious wild game meat was part of his cargo, and he required a resupply of dry ice.

He recounted how he went into a local store to obtain some and they refused to sell it to him, pretty much on the same grounds as those offered by Betty. Thus perturbed, he headed west instead of eating or staying in Glenwood and found a competing retailer in Rifle where the salesperson, upon hearing his story about the reluctant Glenwood retailer, enjoyed a good laugh and gave him the dry ice he needed for free.

Suffice it to say, the Marine now has divergent first impressions of the two Garfield County towns — all because of how he was treated by two people.

Sometimes we really are emissaries, like it or not, and should act accordingly.

Semper Fi.


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