It has been 22 years since I was told I had an aggressive cancer growing in my right breast. Twenty two years since chemo. Twenty two years since my mastectomy and reconstruction. Twenty two years since I feared for my life and wondered if I would see my little girl grow up.
I think of how incredible it is that it feels like a lifetime ago, because it was. My lovely daughter is 26.
Tonight at the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Butterfly Ball I know I will see women who have just been diagnosed; in the middle of battle.
I know they will remind me of times I sometimes try to forget, but need to remember
If you’re lucky, like me, breast cancer doesn’t take your life but informs it.
People have asked me, “what made you do a year of Firsts?”. Maybe , partly, because of breast cancer. Maybe because I know life is too short and precious to not be lived fully.
A woman with metastatic breast cancer told me, she doesn’t live in the future; she lives in the now. She doesn’t have the luxury to do otherwise and she said she’s made peace with that.
I think of I Dare Me as a Now challenge. What will we do with our “now”?
What will we share with others? What will we experience today?
As a long time survivor I hope to do what others did for me….show there is life during and after breast cancer, but most importantly, there is now.