Sorry for the late post. I started this blog last month, but the last two months have been nonstop. Some great things have happened and some not so good things. But I rather focus on the good things.
I was chosen out of 150,000 volunteers to be the 2018 National Big Sister of the Year. Wow! What an honor and a blessing. I have been traveling with my Little Sister Saleen and we have been telling our story. As a mentor it has warmed my heart to see this little girl’s self confidence blossom. She was able to go on an airplane for the first time, and she spoke to a group of over 900 people. I am so proud of her! This is a girl that is normally shy. It’s has brought tears to my eyes to see her grow and find her voice. We are both resilient and I will continue to be by her side as she tackles middle school.
I have been very emotional lately, even cranky, and it finally dawned on me why. It’s my two year Cancerversary. August marks two years since I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. August of 2016 changed my life forever. I have literally been fighting for my life these past two years and now I sit back and reflect on everything. Man, I am exhausted!! And the mommy guilt is real. I look at my boys and think about all the things I have missed out on, and the things I don’t remember. Chemo brain is a real thing. I just try to concentrate on the now and the time I have with my boys. I want to make every day count, and I hate when I don’t feel well, when I am tired or cranky. I don’t want my boys to remember me that way. It’s an internal struggle everyday.
Cancer has been a curse and in a weird way it’s been a blessing. It has taught me so much about myself and people. I have met some incredible people throughout this journey. I have connected with some amazing women that are fighting for their lives just like me. I am so grateful for my “Breasties”. They get it. They understand what I am feeling and they make me feel normal. But at the same time I have “survivors guilt” because I have to watch some of those same women die. I wish I had the right words to bring comfort to their families. All I can do is pray for them. It never gets easier and you can’t help but to ask why them and not me? But I know in my heart that my story is not over. God has a purpose for all of this. I have to have faith and just follow the path laid out for me…
I feel like there are a lot of politics within the Breast Cancer community. Everyone has their own opinions. Some women choose to have faith, others choose to be angry. Some women go flat, others choose reconstruction. Either way, its a personal choice. Some hate the Pink Ribbon and some embrace it. Some like the word “survivor” and others shy away. It is not my place to tell them how to feel or that they are wrong or right. I am still torn about my stance on all of it. But I do know that PINK doesn’t save lives. We NEED more research. All I can do is educate people so that they can make their own decisions. I am participating in a few fashion shows for Breast Cancer Survivors and I am using the opportunity to educate people about Metastatic Breast Cancer. People don’t know that MBC is incurable and that women die everyday because the cancer has spread to other parts of their body. All that said, no one can tell me that the way I have handled all of this is wrong. I choose to have Faith and that keeps me going. It has been my choice from the beginning.
Just like I have been trying to teach Saleen. I have also been trying to set an example for my boys, showing them that bad things happen in life, but you always have a choice. We can’t control what happens, but we can control how we react. Leo is too small to understand, but Sebastian is growing and understanding more and more. I finally said the “C” word to him. He asked me what the “Pink Ribbon” was for and I didn’t want to keep lying to him. But I am very careful of what I say or how I explain it. I don’t want to traumatize him. I want him to see me living my life to the fullest. He doesn’t need to know that I live in fear of not being able to see him grow up.
Next month I will be turning 40 years-old and I am determined to embrace it. Growing old is a privilege and I am going to celebrate life. I plan on being surrounded by the people who have loved and supported me throughout this journey. That’s the thing with being faced with your own mortality, your views change. Material things are no longer important. Love and family are the most valuable assests you have. You can pick who you want around you. You don’t need toxic people in your life. You are more honest. I wont apologize for speaking my truth. I try to focus on giving people my full attention and helping those that are in need. I try to help other women battling cancer and I try to help strangers. I still give of myself fully. I try to put my phone down and to play with my kids more. I am making memories. I get to make my own rules. Cancer can’t steal my joy!!