My name is Julie, I am a Breast Cancer survivor, and this is my story:
I’ll never forget hearing the Radiologist say she was “concerned”, and I soon began a journey I’d never imagined. On the first day of treatment, I saw a poster describing a woman who “helped lift up the others”. And at that moment, I knew that my treatment would include a focus on others and on the future.
In the infusion room, I made friends with some of the other women and the nurses. We shared each other’s struggles and when the bell rang, we celebrated together. We focused on the futures we were planning, instead of our current circumstances, and we cheered each other on.
About a year later, my treatment was over and I was declared NED – no evidence of disease. I was grateful but not exactly sure what to do with my second chance. And then I remembered “Well being: The Five Essential Elements”, a book describing five critical parts of our well being. I used this book to change my life. Here are some of the details:
- Purpose: I’ve retired from my full-time job, and am doing what I love – helping people thrive.
- Social: I spent a long weekend with friends exploring the Painted Desert and the Slot Canyons. Even though I’m a native, it was my first time.
- Financial: We downsized our home and simplified our lives.
- Physical: I’m a regular at the gym and as a result, I feel better and have more energy.
- Community: I’ve been volunteering in a 1st grade classroom and love being back at school!
My breast cancer journey was unexpected and certainly unwanted, but it did have some silver linings. I learned about my power to design my life through a focus on well being. We all have a second chance – a chance to thrive.