• Embracing Life on Borrowed Time
  • The 63rd Missouri Photo Workshop / Macon, Mo.
  • Sandy Houchen squeezes every drop of life out of each day. She is a lively, fun-loving woman who will usually be found busy with family, friends and social activities. But her zest for life has been significantly challenged since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996.

    Following her diagnosis, Sandy needed to have a mastectomy and travelled regularly to M.D. Anderson hospital in Houston for chemotherapy. The surgery and treatment worked, and in 1998 was given the all clear.

    The years that followed brought further struggle as her father, brother and mother died.

    Around the time of her mother’s death, Sandy knew something was wrong with her own body again. Her doctor urged her to go for tests immediately and the day after her mother’s funeral, she received the devastating news that cancer had returned, this time in her brain.

    Back on chemotherapy, the doctors did not expect her to return home again. Miraculously, more than two years later, Sandy is still living a relatively normal life. Managed by daily medication and monthly injections, the cancer remains, but is not growing. She experiences some side effects and gets tired more easily but remains positive. “I won’t let it run my life,” she said.

    In June this year, Sandy made the difficult decision to close Ebertings, her beloved store in the town square. She is currently busy preparing for a second clearance sale since the store’s closure. Her decision to retire was a combination of choosing to look after her health and make more time to spend with her family and friends.


    Sandy Houchen, 43, is the owner of Ebertings, a store on the Clinton town square. After suffering with brain cancer for over two years, she made the difficult decision to close her store in June.

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