By Christine Dimmick
“Cancer” and “gift” are not words you see together often. And if you would have told me 4 years ago that I would be getting cancer and call it a gift – I would have been mortified. But that irony is what makes life so great.
My story started almost 24 years ago when I founded The Good Home Company – a natural cleaning products company I started in my NYC apartment.
Fresh out of college and unemployable, I started creating natural cleaning products on my stove – and the rest they say is history. In 5 short years we were an Inc. 500 company and revenues reached numbers I never could have imagined. But I was soon miserable. The joy in creating for others was replaced with competition, stress and loss of my initial vision – to create products that made every home a good home.
Fast forward to 3 ½ years ago. Bogged down with spreadsheets and stress I received the phone call from my doctor that I had breast cancer. No lead in, no glass of wine before – in fact I was out on the street at the bank when they called my cell phone with the news.
A cancer diagnosis is always shocking and always hard to believe – no one thinks they will be the one. It is frightening and sobering. However, with recent statistics showing 1 in 2 people get cancer– you realize it is pretty much in everyone’s trajectory.
My treatment involved a one-hour surgery and I was home that night and at work the next day. I had 6 weeks of radiation and no medicine. I was a poster child for early detection, my doctor said, and my chances of getting it again were no more than the person on the subway who never had it. That was a gift.
Unfortunately, I have two friends who weren’t so lucky. In the past 4 years, two dear friends died within 6 weeks of their stage 4 diagnosis. They were both younger than 48 and left behind young children they adored. My dear friend’s husband was treated for stage 4 colon cancer – he is 46 and my husband just finished treatment for his cancer.
I remember thinking, “this is not normal – I am far too young to know this many people with cancer. What is going on?”
If you want to know who your true friends are – get cancer. Many stopped calling from their own fear. Fear I would die and fear they would catch it. But those who stuck around were an incredible support. And not only kept me going every single day – but encouraged me to share the information I found on my journey. That was a gift too.
Everyone who has had cancer will tell you what they think caused it – only 10% of cases are hereditary – that leaves a whole 90% due to environmental factors. Which leads me to the next fact – nothing in our world is pure anymore. There is no pure water, pure food source, or pure air. Every single day you and I are exposed to a toxin by simply breathing. This knowledge was profound for me and I knew that the next 40 years of my life would be spent on informing the public on toxic chemicals and the importance of reform and regulation.
It has been almost 4 years and I am grateful to say that I have been living that mission through speaking at the UN, Canyon Ranch, community center like the JCC and most importantly my son’s school. Nearly everyone I meet has a story of someone affected by cancer or a similar health issue. And nearly every single one can be traced to our environment.
It is a gift to be able to share this information and to be a part of the change in awareness of our health and our planet’s health. It is no coincidence that we are suffering the effects of ill health while our oceans are polluted with plastics and our land is doused with pesticides.
Every morning I wake up grateful for my health, for the information I know and for the opportunity to spread the word. At 48, I am the most fulfilled and happy I have been and had it not been for the cancer diagnosis I would still be pouring over spreadsheets and stressed on meeting my budget.
It is my belief that the universe is perfect. We all have our path and for me the cancer diagnosis led me to a greater life of service. We can all get so caught up in our life and all too often focus on what we don’t have, what we wish we had and what we hope doesn’t happen. This is what Buddha explained as the “suffering of life.”
Our world is in much need of healing and I believe we are all being called to stand up and be the change we seek. As Robert Kennedy said “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”
I am grateful to have that opportunity.
Christine Dimmick is the founder and CEO of The Good Home Company Inc. She pioneered
the move to combine natural ingredients and true to life scents in cleaning products over 20 years ago in her NYC kitchen. She and Good Home products have been featured in O Magazine, Instyle, Dr. Oz and House Beautiful, along with appearances on the Today Show. She is a public speaker promoting health and wellness at Canyon Ranch, Lenox, Mass. and other wellness facilities.
Christine can also be found blogging on Facebook for over 35,000 Good Home fans
and hosting wellness events – spreading her unique message of health. Christine also consults
with hotels, businesses and private homes where she helps clients to detox, remove toxic
products and create a place of health and wellness. You can visit her website at