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All month long, we're focusing on people living with colorectal cancer and those who love them.

Real People

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[Cynthia] I lived more in the last few years since my diagnosis than I've lived in the 30-something years prior to that.

[soft music]

Welcome to my home.

Prior to my diagnosis, I thought I was going through one of these things called creative block.

In my heart, I'd have songs. In my pens and journals, I'd write lyrics and all kinds of stuff, but I was never putting it out into the world and sharing it.

Creativity is like breathing. It's life, it's everything. I can't keep it inside.

It's like turmoil for me, proven turmoil.

I went to the doctor. I said, you've gotta check me out, something's wrong.

It took several years to finally get a diagnosis of breast cancer.

When you're a young woman and you shed something like breasts, you learn to shed a lot of things: unnecessary people, stress, unnecessary bills.

You know, you start to get rid of these things.

I really prided myself in being busy all the time and making very good money, and I thought that's what life was about.

I would never go back to that. I would never go back to that life.

Okay, so I wanna hear you perform. You're gonna perform a song for us right now live?

[Performer] Yes, I am, from the "Enjoy Life" album.

[Cynthia] "Enjoy Life" album-this song is called?

[Performer] This song is called-

[Cynthia] I made sure that I didn't repeat a behavioral pattern that I knew I had before diagnosis, which was when I was experiencing a challenge, I buried it.

I made sure I'd have, like, the best face on.

One of the most incredible gifts of going through cancer is teaching me how to be here right now.

And that's what's changed. I don't think of how things could be better all the time.

That's how I used to be. What drives me is, be here right now.

Thank you. Oh, that was just as good as the last one.

I try to tell people who are newly diagnosed to think of this as a restart and not like a death sentence.

You can reinvent your life. You have all the permission now.

When I'm DJing and people start going wild, if they were having a bad day-not anymore.

And I helped them get there. And that makes me so happy to survive all this stuff.

And to know that I am DJing because I went through cancer and now I'm helping, literally, 60, 100 people in front of me.

I mean, that's just the best way to metabolize cancer.

[piano music]

All of us, every single one of us, our candle is eventually gonna run out.

But, in my opinion, there's only one way to live. Live fully.

Experience everything you can.

Forgive. Trust. Heal. It's a constant healing.

Why does it take cancer to do that, I don't know. But I wanna tell people, be creative.

Help other people express themselves, and even when your candle is out, your light will shine on.

[soft music]

I figured it out. I think I figured out that song.

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Cynthia’s story: Finding her voice

With her creative spirit and warm smile, Cynthia is the kind of person who makes an impression the moment you meet her.

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