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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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A Celebration of Cancer Survivorship

I must admit that by the end of October I felt inundated by pink. I'll also admit that all the pink might have made me a bit grouchy. In last week's post I wrote about not being so special just because I survived cancer; that really, we all all survivors of some sort. After all, who hasn't faced difficult situations in their lives? The longer you live the greater the chances of having had some challenging obstacle to overcome. Just as someone can "admire" me for battling cancer, I value their struggle with difficult situations.

But when I woke up this morning and read the comments that came in, I began to sense a trend and softened up a bit. Seems that while the consensus is that yes, we all do experience events in our lives that put us in the "survivor" category, there's not many like the enormity of cancer. Perhaps it's the life-or-death of the situation; cancer does pit us against our own mortality. Or maybe it's the view from the other side; I don't believe any of the comments were from other cancer survivors. Before I was diagnosed, I was in awe of anyone facing down cancer; once embroiled in my own battle, I realized that I could put on my boxing gloves, too.

At any rate, I've shed my grouchy side enough to realize that life is worth celebrating for us all - but it's especially precious and exciting to know that you are here to celebrate when you might not have been, had you not been granted a reprieve.

There's a big celebration of cancer survivorship - yes, I'm absolutely going to watch - that you can tune into on Thanksgiving Day after you've been on your feet cooking all day and are ready to relax before the company comes.

From 4:00-5:30 PM (EST), right after the rucus from the football telecast calms down, tune into FOX and watch something that celebrates women and their battle against cancer - as caregivers, patients and advocates. "Kaleidoscope," which was taped yesterday from the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., features Olympic skating champions and Grammy Award-winning music artists. Dorothy Hamill, who is a two-year cancer survivor, is returning to the ice and will be joined by Scott Hamilton (it's his first television performance since his brain tumor diagnosis five years ago). Olivia Newton-John and music producer David Foster will be supplying the music, which I'm sure will be moving and beautiful. And there's a chance to see pros and champions like Kristi Yamaguchi, Nancy Kerrigan and others.

The mission of the show is to move beyond the awareness of women's cancers - which affect more than 713,000 women in the U.S. each year - and create a platform to help them fight the disease. It's being supported by 10 nationwide advocacy partners.

Click here to learn more.

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