Our Voice: 'This too shall pass' so let's be grateful for the present

Often we just don't know how good we have things, like our health -- until it's gone. Or our nationality -- until we see how hard someone else is working to get what we were born with.

It's good to be grateful.

Cancer testing

In a story about some cancer clinical trials coming to the Tri-Cities was this sobering statistic: Columbia Basin Hematology sees about 1,000 new patients a year.

It's staggering to us that one local clinic sees 20 new cancer patients a week.

Everyone wants to find a cure for cancer. It has touched all of our lives in deeply painful and personal ways.

We appreciate the arrangement with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to bring the trials to the Tri-Cities.

It gives people from rural areas in Eastern Washington the access to care they may not get otherwise.

Whether the experimental therapy saves the participants' lives, we're grateful for the people who are willing to participate in the study.

People who volunteer for the treatment are betting on a hope that they get the therapy and not the placebo. They also are betting that the therapy is effective.

It's an important step in developing proven treatments and ruling out harmful side effects.

Thank you to the participants, and best wishes.

New citizens

A naturalization ceremony last week honored 23 new citizens in the Mid-Columbia.

If you were born in the United States, you likely don't have the same appreciation for your citizenship as those who have applied for it, studied for it and waited for it.

As a general rule, the things we work for mean more to us than the things that are given to us.

The enthusiasm of new citizens is refreshing. Seeing their excitement reminds us of some of the blessings we may have taken for granted.

So we say, "Welcome to your new home," to those 23 new citizens.

And we say, "Thank you," for reminding us that we are fortunate to live in a country that people want to come to.

Natural fireworks

Predictably, on the Fourth of July at 10 p.m. in the Mid-Columbia, you can see a large fireworks display down on the Columbia River and at Gesa Stadium.

It's a brilliant -- and controlled -- show.

Last week's lightning storm gave us a whole different show. Not controlled and unpredictable.

It was the kind of storm meteorologists revel in and animals cower from.

Our biggest weather threat is usually in the form of a sunburn, but when your phone sends you an alert for flash floods and the radio is telling you what to do in case of a tornado, well, that's extreme weather -- especially for us.

It makes us grateful that we live in the Mid-Columbia and not tornado alley.