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Woman diagnosed with cancer views holiday season in new way

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MOORHEAD—The holidays can bring a wide range of emotions, but the guarantee of another holiday is something we easily take for granted.

We're just days away from Thanksgiving and for most, it's a time of being thankful for all that we have.

"I have a new grandson and he's just so wonderful," said Monica Webster, local woman.

For 55-year old Monica Webster her gratitude now knows no bounds.

"They were pretty sure I wasn't going to be here," said Monica.

Monica was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2014 after months of radiation and chemotherapy, the cancer had appeared to be gone, but six months after her original diagnosis; devastating news.

"I had found out the cancer spread to my brain," said Monica.

Her cancer had come back and was now classified as Stage 4.

"It was a punch in the gut," said Monica.

Meaning each holiday Monica now celebrates might just be her last.

"I feel like I can go there, but I can't live there.Sometimes I set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and kind of wallow," said Monica.

She says her journey since diagnosis has actually given her a different outlook on life making her appreciate every single day.

"I have to live my life the way I want to live it," said Monica.

Medical Experts say Monica's outlook may actually be beneficial for her health.

"We know from research, if you try to cultivate positives intentionally, that those positives can wire it in your brain," said Dr. Cheryl Hysjulien, Cancer Psychologist.

Although the future is unknown, Monica says especially during the holidays, she thinks about the beauty of what's happening in her life now, instead of what could be.

"I don't have to wrap my head around it. I just have to be a mom, a wife and a friend and continue on," said Monica.

Monica's Thanksgiving will actually be celebrated Saturday with her family in Moorhead.

Cassandra Rohlfing

After working part time at WDAY-TV during her college career, Cassandra – who goes by Cassie, joined the WDAY news team full-time in January as an Online Editor/Weekend Producer. She switched over to Reporter/Multimedia Journalist in June and is excited to work on stories you want to see!  She was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, ND and is part Turtle Mountain Chippewa. Cassie graduated from  North Dakota State University in December of 2015 with a degree in Journalism, and an emphasis in Broadcasting. Cassie bleeds green and gold and is an avid Bison Football fan who attended every home game in her college career, thanks to being a part of the Gold Star Marching Band. Her hobbies include binge watching TV shows on Netflix, attempting to work out, and getting outside when she can. If you have any questions/story ideas feel free to email or call. 

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