In November 2008, I went for my routine mammogram. Thank God I did. Small calcifications were found and on December 12th I received the phone call no one wants to get — the biopsy was positive for breast cancer. Stage II, estrogen and HER2+. Lumpectomy followed but the margins were not clear so I chose mastectomy with reconstruction. Six rounds of chemo and a year of Herceptin consumed 2009 for me. I hated the changes in my body and the loss of my hair — but I knew these things were temporary. The biggest changes happened on the inside. I learned to love harder, be kinder and take joy in the small things. Now, almost ten years later, I have a three-year-old grandson and live life to the fullest! Over these 10 years I have lost 3 friends whose breast cancer reoccurrence took them from this earth. It’s a scary thing, sometimes it seems like a ticking time bomb. But I choose to live my days in joy instead of fear. I follow the mantra — “what would I do if my days are numbered, because they are.” None of us are promised tomorrow — I plan to make each moment count.