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Hamilton Jordan: "... Even the smallest joys in life took on a special meaning -- watching a beautiful sunset, a hug from my child, a laugh with Dorothy."

 Note: Hamilton Jordan served as chief of staff to President Jimmy Carter. He later contracted 3 separate cancers, the story of which he told in his book, No Such Thing As A Good Day.

From No Such Thing As A Bad Day:

"Although I have had three different cancers by age fifty, I do not feel cursed or put upon. Instead, I believe that I am very blessed and just plain lucky to be alive. I told my doctor that I do not mind having a new cancer every five years as long as he could guarantee me four or five more! ...

"Sooner or later in life, we will all get a `bad report,' which forces us to come to grips, probably for the first time, with our own mortality ...

"While the memories of my three cancers are still vivid today, sometimes unsettling, and occasionally even frightening, I never want to forget the raw fear of cancer and the prospect of death. Because if I am ever able to simply block out those memories and set my emotions aside, I will lose the ironic blessing, the sense of purpose and the focus that cancer has given my own life.

"After my first cancer, even the smallest joys in life took on a special meaning -- watching a beautiful sunset, a hug from my child, a laugh with Dorothy.That feeling has nto diminished with time. After my second and third cancers, the simple joys of life are everywhere and are boundless, as I cherish my family and friends and contemplate the rest of my life, a life that I certainly do not take for granted.

"Or, as my friend who is bravely battling a recurrent brain tumor reminds me, `There is no such thing as a bad day!'"