I suppose that for me the most important thing that I discovered as a two-time breast cancer survivor was that I didn’t want to be defined by this disease. I didn’t want people who learned of my cancer to look at me with pity or to feel sorry for me. Personally, I didn’t even want to think about it. I was a very private person and my business was my business so I was not interested in reaching out to anyone for help or guidance. After all, they didn’t know me so they couldn’t possibly know how I felt or what was best for me.
I continued working and enjoyed each day more than I could ever have imagined. I was so grateful for life and being fortunate enough to have incredible people around me who not only saved my life with surgeries and treatments but who supported me through every step of recovery. But most importantly, my husband suggested that I write a blog and he would create a website for it. He knew that I loved to write and he wanted to give me an outlet to put into words what I was feeling and thinking. I finally agreed to do so just as something to do but what has evolved is beyond anything that I could have imagined.
I don’t remember exactly when I decided to cross the line into the cancer zone but I will never forget the response that I received after doing so. I started to receive responses from people all over the world who were cancer survivors, who were caregivers and who were family and friends of others who were going through all types of cancer. They were so thankful and grateful for my opening up and sharing things from my perspective. Some were inspired and felt that they had been given their own freedom to discuss their disease. Some were questioning me with regard to what they should do and say around those who had cancer. And then there were those who were the little ones who just wanted to write to someone about the fact that their parent or grandparent had cancer and they were so scared about it.
All those years ago, social media was in its infancy. I could never have imagined the evolution that has taken place in such a short period of time. Now there are so many sites that provide support and information and I thought that by now that what I had to say and share would have been completed. But what I have learned is that it has only evolved. Anyone who has ever had breast cancer is obviously changed forever but in ways that could never have been imagined. My desire to give hope and inspiration to those who have faced or are yet to face breast cancer is what has given me the drive and strength to continue this mission. My breast cancer gave me the opportunity to help others in ways that I could never have imagined. For that I will always be grateful.