My cancer journey began like so many others, I was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer with a 4.5cm grade 2 tumor (low risk). My bi-lateral (double) mastectomy was scheduled out for 4 weeks and then hooray! I would be cancer free and would be able to get on with my former life.
Two weeks before my surgery, I became concerned because I could feel that my tumor was growing rapidly. I called the oncology center and explained my situation. I was told that tumor growth was actually a very slow process and that it just seemed to be growing because I was now more aware and focused on it…. So I conceded and politely let it go.
My date with destiny arrived, I was given general anaesthesia, underwent my surgery, woke up, and was informed that apparently my “slow” growing tumor had doubled in size to a full 9cm!
This news definitely changed the trajectory of my life, my re-diagnosis was now a stage IIB with a grade 3 tumor (high risk). I had to endure a port implant, chemotherapy, radiation, hysterectomy, diep flap reconstruction, expanders, fat grafting, lymphedema, ongoing hormone therapy and cancer treatment-induced menopause.
following my surgery, I was informed that apparently my “slow” growing tumor had doubled in size to a full 9cm
During this time I experienced and noticed the collateral damage of inadequate supportive resources for survivors trying to recover from the debilitating side effects caused by the cancer treatments.
I was so frustrated and disappointed for not having advocated for myself, for not insisting to be reevaluated and having had my surgery moved up.
I felt victimized and I argued with reality until I was exhausted.
I realized that I needed help. Through life coaching, I learned how to manage my mind and body. I began embracing the process and even became grateful for the experience.
What? Stay with me here……
While staring down the barrel of my own mortality, my perspective of what was and was not important, was completely altered, I was forced to review my life, body and identity through a new pair of crystal clear lenses.
I feel incredible eternal gratitude for cancer requiring me to evolve into my own recovery crusader, for giving me the experience and gift of aligning my path so I could find my mission, my passion and my life’s work of supporting my survivor sisters in advocating and prioritizing their well-being so that they are able to take back the power over their health, wellness and recovery.
I appreciate that my cancer journey has allowed me to be an example of how beautiful life can be post-cancer and for the opportunity to serve my fellow survivors by helping them develop the mental resolve and attitude that is required for them to come out triumphant so that they too can capitalize on the rest of their lives.
If you too have battled and would like to learn how beautiful life can be post cancer, you’re just one decision away from beginning to create the best years of your life.
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