By Beth Besen
When Inside Chappaqua’s esteemed publisher/editor Grace Bennett advertised for a Guest Editor, I jumped at the opportunity! Not because I love the magazine (though I do!) or because I love writing (though I do that too!), but because I COULD! Jump, that is.
A year ago, such was not the case. Based on the results of an otherwise routine mammogram, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer, the Big C. I underwent intensive chemotherapy followed by radiation. The future looked uncertain, and it was all I could do to get through each round, make the best and most of each day. Jumping for anything was out of the question.
Happily, things turned out very well for me. Love, support and care came from near and far as family and friends joined and kept company on my journey; I am eternally grateful to every single one of them. Likewise, I am grateful to the doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians who, quite frankly, saved my life; it’s worth noting how very lucky I was–we are–to live as we do here in Westchester, so close to many of the world’s finest medical centers and communities.
I hope you’ll never need the Cancer and Wellness Center at Northern Westchester Hospital. But, if you do, you’ll find comfort, as well as great care, there; take a tour through this issue with Vicki de Vries.
Do you worry about heart disease? Suffer from headaches? Get S.A.D. at this time of year? Flip forward through the magazine as we share info that may help you or someone you love.
On the lighter side of health, there’s always the hope that a much needed break from routine restores us to our best selves. Let Kate Stone Lombardi inspire you to volunteer, follow Heather Skolnick’s lead and plan a family vacation.
You’ll also find smart insider tips of all kinds (visual “soundbites” if you will) throughout the magazine; just look for our Rx and pushpin note to advise, inspire and help you help yourself!
All those exclamation points in my lead paragraph? Not poor editing, deliberate editorial choices; they represent excitement and happiness, grateful appreciation, humility and even honor. While Descartes gave us I think, therefore I am, I suggest I exclaim because I can! Like many survivors before me, I’ve learned that life is for living. Exclamation point!
As I approach the one-year anniversary of my official remission date, I simply can’t imagine better payment forward than jumping into this issue of Inside Chappaqua!
Be well, and enjoy!
Credits: Beth’s hair styled by Aura Salon owner Leticia utilizing AVEDA products’ “pure flower and plant essences’’; aurasalonchappaqua.com. Beth’s makeup provided by Kathryn (formerly Kathryn Ellen Makeup Studio); firstname.lastname@example.org including “botanically based, vegan and toxin-free” Arbonne makeup; sharonh.myarbonne.com.
Barbara Daniel, Local Dog Walker: Dog hikes can be enjoyable in every season when you’re prepared. My favorite winter hiking tool is Yak-Traks. These ‘snow tires’ or ‘chains’ for shoes make it possible to navigate over, or through, snow or icy surfaces. Many local stores sell them or similar brands.
Barrie Wolfe, MS RD: Snacking is actually GOOD for you! But there’s an art to it. Instead of grazing on high-calorie junk, my clients eat a “calculated snack”–ideally something with protein and fiber to provide fullness and energy. Indulge in holiday goodies occasionally, but eat a “calculated snack” often. BarrieWolfeNutrition.com