24 years ago (yes, that long ago), my ob/gyn and insufferable oncologist diagnosed me with breast cancer (DCIS that developed to Stage IB). I had a series of treatments and reconstructive surgery over a 5 month period . . . kinda amazing that I can put this painful and harrowing experience in 1 sentence . . .
it was hellish on many levels that I won’t go into, but suffice to say that I found a major silver lining in that I got awesome new boobies (in fact, the best that insurance can buy!), I have a wholly different view of living life, i am an independent, free-thinking person, and I live a healthy, fulfilled, and productive life more than 2 decades later as a result …
i thank my dear friend, Jill, for helping me come out of my shell. it wasn’t until i met her that i was able to talk about it, much less share the experience with others. we have a friendship agreement which requires us to ask each other for help when we need it (i think she violates it from time to time, though). also, she’s one of those adorable little runner people and considered a unit of measure. we’ve learned a lot from each other getting through all those ups and downs. i love her to bits.
having blathered all that, this is what i’ve learned through all this
- don’t let fear, insecurity, or misgivings hold you back. put on your big girl (or boy) pants and get on with it.
- life and death is to be respected, appreciated, and celebrated
- stop wasting your time hating yourself when you make mistakes. learn and move on.
- learn, embrace, and live by these two words: agape and mitzvah.