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The 'Collateral Beauty' of Cancer

Be sure to stop and notice the “beauty” during and after cancer.
PUBLISHED May 04, 2017
Stacie Chevrier is a recovering type-A, corporate climber who made a big life change after being diagnosed with cancer in September 2014. She now spends her days focusing on writing, fitness and healthy living. Outside of these passions, Stacie can be found practicing yoga, enjoying anything outdoors, traveling and defying the odds as a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor survivor.

I’ve wanted to see the movie "Collateral Beauty" since its release last year, and I finally watched it. There are times when a movie, song, writing, painting or another piece of art generate a profound impact in us; I would add this film into that category.

The main character, played by actor Will Smith, is suffering from tremendous grief. The movie tells the story of his business partners and friends going to great lengths to help him. These people learn important life lessons as well. The underlying themes are love, time and death. Cancer also has a couple starring roles. The concept of "Collateral Beauty" is explained, when a character shares her feelings of an overwhelming and profound connection to everything after her own traumatic experience.

After this scene, I looked at my husband and said, "I totally get it."

Without question, dealing with illness has made me more intensely aware of love, time and death. I remember not long after treatment, feeling so much love for everything and everyone around me. I had so much gratitude for time and deeply understood its fragility and temporariness. I walked the line between life and death, and saw how thin the line is. These feelings were so intense to the point my face would be soaked with tears from a pretty sunset or when my eyes flicked open in the morning. It was then I learned how much beauty can exist in that deemed terrible. I think these feelings and awareness have been a gift and none of that would be possible without cancer.

"No matter how dark and no matter how difficult a time is, there is something beautiful that’s happening right there, you just have to look and see it." — Will Smith

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