Day 365: One year…

Day 365: One year…

One year ago today I had the mammogram and ultrasound that confirmed I had breast cancer. As the radiologist confirmed it and the ultrasound tech cried a little in the corner I just sighed.

Dr. Google let me know – this was just confirmation.

Rick and I went to lunch. I had red wine and something else I picked at but didn’t eat, a few tears ran down my cheek. I’d never been a big crier or really a fan of emotions – that has changed. I had texted my besties – those who knew where I was and what my concerns were and then I pulled myself together as best I could before heading into an executive/finance meeting and letting my executive team know. I had asked Rick to call my mom and my brother and sister – I knew I didn’t have the strength the talk to them and keep my crap in a pile for my meetings – I barely kept my crap in a pile talking to the executive team. A few more tears leaked out (thank you for the words and love you had that day). There is something about saying it out loud. The shock and concern you see in everyone else’s eyes – the fear you feel with your own diagnosis. Cancer.

It has been a year people. So, though I am doing well, I ask this of you: hug those you love tonight, tell your friends how much you appreciate them, connect with family and plan to tackle a bucket list item this year. Love yourself. Embrace adventure. Step into the unknown. Know you are valued – tell someone else they are. Show and express gratitude. You are so deeply loved.

#‎strongerthancancer‬ ‪#‎embracingtheadventure‬ ‪#‎killerleftboob‬ ‪#‎hawtrightboob‬ ‪#‎breastcancer


Day 235: Facing the Inevitable’ish

tinkerbell-secret-wingsDay 236: Facing the Inevitable’ish

I lost my brother-in-law to lung cancer Sunday.  I cried for him, for family and selfishly for me.  At least it felt selfish.  My brother in law put up a good fight, a great fight, a valiant fight against his cancer.  I followed his journey, he was a great pen-pal and I appreciated his insight, feedback, advice and experience as I started this path of unknowns of my own.  He let me know, quite frankly, what was coming and helped me prepare for the next challenge in this process.  He didn’t sugar coat things.  I can’t tell you how important that is when everyone around you wants to tell you that things are OK, and you will be fine, and not to worry.  You don’t stop them, because you know they are using words to soothe themselves as much as you.  Truth is, once you get this diagnosis all you do is worry.  You are thankful for the brief reprieve you get on occasion when you have a task that requires so much focus that you find freedom from the thoughts about the diagnosis.

We both knew Continue reading

Day 18: Attitude

Voltair Happy MemeDay 18: Attitude – I have been called a “pathological optimist,” something I accepted with much pride.

I can’t remember the book, but I remember the quote from Viktor Frankl vividly: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” It is worth reading again.

Yesterday was a true reality check for me in some ways, I think maybe the shock wore off or maybe I became aware of new realities. Something about being given a ride face down into the MRI tube with an IV and chilling out in there for an hour and half that will do that to you! LOL Yesterday while getting the IV was the first time I felt “sick” – not physically yet – but just realized – “Hey, I am pretty sick.” Looking at my arm last night and the IV bruising and just realizing, this is really nothing compared to what is coming.

Yesterday, for a moment I was scared. For the first time really.

But here is the thing. I am so blessed to have all of you in my life. It was like the universe knew it would be a tough day and I was genuinely surrounded by love from you and your positive energy matters more than you may know. I am also blessed to know so many cancer WARRIORS. I truly appreciate all the feedback, insight and love. I am blessed to have an amazing supportive family.

I also had a long talk with a friend who is not afraid to ask me tough questions and hold me accountable. The key question? “What are you afraid of?” It is easy to fall into the “emotion” of fear, but once you start breaking down – it is pretty manageable.

The deal is, life is terminal. We are all headed to the same place, at least this current physical manifestation of our being. The “meat suit” we wear simply does not last forever. In some ways, I can already feel the gift that this diagnosis represents, you start thinking about what is important to you in the now and honestly about what things you might want to change.

So, this morning I am looking at a beautiful sunny day, I had a good nights rest, I am surrounded by family and friends and even though I am working today, I am genuinely looking forward to my board retreat as we talk about how we can do more to help our community. Even with all this going on, I can count my blessings. I CHOOSE to SEE the positives.

Wishing you an abundantly blessed day too.

‪#‎strongerthancancer‬ ‪#‎embracingtheadventure‬ ‪#‎killerleftboob‬ ‪#‎hawtrightboob‬ ‪#‎breastcancer‬