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“Thanks for telling me I have cancer,” Amy texted me several days ago.

We had connected for over a month about the very real truth that she needed to go to treatment. She didn’t have cancer though.

Amy needed help for an eating disorder, yet, like many, including myself for a long time, she had plenty of excuses for why she couldn’t follow her treatment team’s recommendation. The biggest one, understandable to any single parent: “There is no one to take care of my kids.”

Several weeks ago, I had asked her what would happen if she had cancer and her doctor urged her to admit to the hospital immediately.

Would she quickly go?
Would she stay as long as necessary to save her life?
Would someone, somehow, take care of her children?

Yes, yes, and yes, she answered. So, I said, “You have cancer.”

Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. Tragically, just like many with cancer, people with all types of eating disorders can die. Eating disorders are serious illnesses that deserve the same attention as physical ones.

A couple of days later, talking with Casey on the phone, I asked, “If you had a brain tumor, would you get medical help as soon as possible?”

Casey didn’t have a brain tumor or an eating disorder, but he did have another serious and life-threatening illness, posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD. He answered me, “Yes.”

“You have a brain tumor,” I told him.

To read the full post on The Meadows Ranch Blog, click here.

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