I am a bit superstitious about Oct 9.
I believe I became a cancer survivor the minute I discovered the lump in my breast and started my journey to discover what it was. I never say I am a _ year survivor until I hit the anniversary of the day I became cancer free. October 9, 2009.
Spoiler Alert this post is about cancer but…
It is also about self advocating and gratitude.
See, my cancer didn’t show on the easy tests. I found it while in the shower. I pursued answers and a mammogram, ultrasound and fine needle aspiration told my doctors and me that it was nothing.
If we had stopped there I would not be here now. The average survivor percentage beyond 5 years with early detection is 90-95%.
If we hadn’t stopped it in its tracks I would have had metastatic cancer and be gone by now. The average person diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer lives for 5 years. Some live longer and some shorter.
We didn’t give up and eventually I had an MRI that my MasterCard paid for and I am here today as a result of that and surgery and chemo and tamoxifen.
No doubt in my mind.
9 years of life, love, kids, marriage, my dog, laughing, traveling, writing, joy, summer evenings, winter days skiing, snorkeling with dolphins, volleyball and soccer tournaments, plays and art shows and watching my girls grow to teens and young adulthood.
Gratitude is huge in my life.
There is never a minute I am not supremely grateful for every minute past the words “You have cancer”
So what is the lesson for today?
Because I write and give away tips on healthy living and writing every week in my blog(which I have been writing for the past 9 years) I am going to give you a couple.
Gratitude and Attitude are EVERYTHING.
Don’t give up until you have an answer you can live with.
Hire experts you trust.
This last one is true in all aspects of life and remember you are paying for your medical care so you are the boss and you are hiring them.
Right now I am on Day 1 of Year 10 and it is AWESOME.
PS Do your Breast self exam—guys too. And thanks to “A Million Little Things” for bringing male breast cancer to prime time.