This page is the most difficult for me to write. I have never really been comfortable talking about myself. I have always encouraged others to tell me their personal stories – that is where I am most at ease, as the listener. We each have a story, and that is often how we identify ourselves. Despite my hesitance to tell my own, I’ve recently realized that my story might have the potential to help others along their journey.
For the past year, I have been trying to answer the question: Who am I? Am I the woman who six years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer and has gone through treatments that changed the very essence of my being? Am I a mother and a wife and an artist? What is my purpose on this Earth? What is intended for me?
To answer these questions, I went on a path of discovery. My goal was to get my joy and effervescent personality back, let go of fear and anger, and regain the positive and clear mind that was robbed from me by a cancer drug that I was taking for 5 years. I needed to learn how to become a more peaceful person so that I could walk through this world in a new and wonderful way.
I searched for foods to excite my mind and body. I cleansed, detoxed and researched other methods to cure myself and prevent cancer from returning. I was learning a great deal and started to feel that I was finally removing the fear of getting cancer again. My wild and fun self was becoming alive and full. I was a happier mother who had energy to be with her three children and to show them all that is beautiful in this world. My spirituality was growing. I was working on loving and accepting myself, to walk a path of forgiveness. I was LETTING GO!!!
However, as so often happens with an old love, just as I was letting go, the very thing that I was releasing suddenly and unexpectedly resurfaced in my life. I went for my routine mammogram and sonogram, and in walked the doctor with his folder. I had seen the expression before. I asked him to be straight with me. “I’m a tough woman” I told him, “I can handle anything.”
Over the next three weeks, I had several biopsies. On September 23, 2015, all that I had gathered in my toolbox to reignite my life was put to test. The cancer was back, and this time it had spread to two new places in my body. I reacted to this news, delivered over the phone during my son’s birthday party, in a way that I never could have imagined – it scares me when I think about it. I suffered a complete loss of emotional control.
After I finally picked myself up off the ground, a huge wave of calmness suddenly came over me and the message in my mind was clear: YOU MUST CALM DOWN. YOU MUST FIND PEACE. YOU WON’T BE GIVEN ANOTHER CHANCE. YOU MUST LOVE YOURSELF IN ORDER TO HEAL. RIGHT NOW. THIS VERY MOMENT.
I feel lucky. I really do. I have been given a great gift, a chance to really live a life that is full.
I have made peace with the cancer that is living in my body and will live there throughout my life.
On this journey, I know there will be moments of great clarity, joy, sadness and revelation, and most certainly, set backs. I will treat all of these moments as a learning experience. What I truly want is to live a life that is fueled by inner peace and self-love and so much joy that it shines through every pore of my being. I hope that I can give my family and friends, and most of all, my children, a life that is full of wonder and beauty.
I am excited about this new journey and I hope that each week we can walk through it together. No matter your story, your struggle, I hope you can join me on this path, and that you can experience my story and be inspired. My professional career is focused on helping women look and feel younger on the outside. My desire is to empower each woman who reads this blog to be the wonderful person she is on the inside and truly live in the moment.