Breast cancer survivor since 2006
What does being a Survivor mean to you?
I think being a Survivor has added a punctuation mark for what I already stood for. As new experiences and blessings present themselves in my life, I believe I recognize their value through clearer lenses and with greater sensitivity. We get one life, and it has given me the opportunity to take action in areas I was planning to get to tomorrow. Being a survivor has given me the chance to reassess and make some modifications to my life, truly aware of just how fortunate I am to have the gift of today.
It has defined for me my true purpose on the planet. I inhale most moments and express gratitude when and however I can. I experience my passions and savor my interactions with others, taking little for granted.
Cancer gave me permission to discard that, which had little value, and to see and share the value in what was here that I was not paying close enough attention to.
How has being a Survivor affected your life?
It has made me purpose driven with an exclamation point!!!! I celebrate life! Being a survivor is a huge gift as well as a huge responsibility.
I believe I am a vehicle through which women and men I encounter are to see this disease in a different way. I embody the message that fear doesn’t have to stop you. It can actually empower you. I got to test every tool my parents ever gave to me. All these tools got to be recharged through this journey. I have confirmed my faith, intuition, and my spiritual constitution and have been able to work on building a better me, and I prefer the new and improved me. I humbly believe it is true — ‘that which won’t kill you will make you stronger”. You don’t really know that until you believed you have lived it.
Two of joys in my life are my amazing daughters Sydney and Morgan. We have worked as a team to empower teens and spread breast cancer awareness through our involvement in Teens for a Cure® and its event, Tickled Pink!
This understanding has not come without a lot of heartache and sadness — the greatest being the loss of my best friend Stacy to this disease. I spend much of my continued spiritual relationship with her — trying to be a support, a mirror and a blessing to others along their journey — as she was and remains to be for me. Her kind, generous, nurturing manner lives with me forever. My cancer awareness efforts are in tribute to Stacy Jones Bevacqua.