Welcome 2019 – Coping with Change

First I want to welcome all of you to 2019. I am sure many of you are getting tons of “How to Make 2019 your best year ever” messages as I have. And no, I’m not going there. But I am going to change this newsletter to share more. Many of you have been asking me where I get my positive attitude from and I want you to know it hasn’t always been easy.

I’ve been through a lot, however I’ve found that thinking positively always makes things better and if I can help you in that journey, then I am ready to do that. And so I thought I would start with my cancer journey 31 years ago since I know many of you have gone through or may be going through the same thing.

At 49. I had my first mammogram thanks to my husband’s urging. Not seeing the need for it since I was “so healthy” I went in and boy was I surprised when the doctor called me and said “You have massive breast cancer.” I was totally shocked and only said one thing…”Will I live?”  When the answer was yes, I got to work researching, asking questions and doing my homework.

I didn’t tell my family until 2 days later when I had come to a decision to have a lumpectomy. Truthfully, had I known then what I know now, I would have had a double mastectomy, reconstruction and been done with it. But I wasn’t ready for it. The first time was radiation only and they used to call me “Little Miss Sunshine” because I went in for each treatment with a smile. To me I was getting cured.

I also decided to do a public service announcement to get people to get mammograms, because no one was talking about breast cancer in 1987. They traced 250 people getting them from that announcement. So I went from being devastated to being pro-active which also helped me mentally and emotionally. I had to give up my precious lap swimming and being in the sun because of the treatments but I increased my workouts.

Did any of this have any effect on me? Of course. I couldn’t tell anyone because if you did, they thought you were dying. I managed to do my speaking on weekends and was grateful I was getting healed.

To be continued next week…

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