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This week, the Environment Report is taking an in-depth look at the connections between cancer and the environment.When somebody gets cancer, one of the first questions is usually "why?"Does this kind of cancer run in my family?Was it something in the water, or in the air around me?Did I get exposed to something?What would you do, or where would you go to answer these questions? We'll explore how much we really know about the connections between cancer and the chemicals in our environment.We'll also meet both regular people and scientists trying to figure out if certain towns around Michigan are struggling with more cancer cases than other places because of current or past pollution.You'll hear about whether or not turning to the courts makes sense when it seems a company might to be blame for putting people at risk of cancer or other illnesses.Finally, we'll look at where we go from here. What do researchers know, and where are they looking next?

Your Story: A young girl's battle with cancer comes full circle

The Holland-Anderson family (Chloe is second from the left).
The Holland-Anderson family (Chloe is second from the left).

As part of the Environment Report's week-long series, Cancer and Environment: Searching for Answers, we'll be highlighting some powerful stories of hope and loss in the words of those touched by cancer in Michigan. You can read more Michigan cancer stories here. How has cancer affected your life? Tell us your story.

In July, the idea of Chloe’s hair loss was difficult—difficult for Chloe, difficult for Kip and me.

The other day, the kids were at my parents’. My daughter Martha was brushing her long hair and working on some pretty tough tangles. “I HATE my hair,” she exclaimed, in a dramatic fashion.

Chloe looked up at her, smiled confidently and said, “I LOVE my hair.”

It felt like she had come full circle.

At the beginning of this journey, when Chloe’s tumor was removed, a port was placed in. A port goes beneath the skin. It was accessed weekly to draw blood, to check counts and to give her chemo.

Today, in a short 20 minute surgery, that port was removed.

We waited in the same waiting room and talked with the same doctor after that port was removed.

Again, it felt like we have come full circle.

It is not totally over. She has a few more months of intravenous antibiotic infusions and scans every 3 months for the next 3 years.

We will worry in ways we never imagined a year ago.

We will also celebrate each clear scan, each moment of victory

-This is an excerpt from the Holland-Anderson family blog, written by Christa Holland-Anderson.

*This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. Share your story here.

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