Wednesday, December 7, 2011


In January of 2001 I was diagnosed with breast cancer; I had just celebrated my 40th birthday. It was caught early and I went through all the recommended treatments; lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, tamoxifen. On January 11, 2012 it will be 11 years that I am cancer free!  In August of 2005 my older brother Rick was diagnosed with tongue and neck cancer; he had just turned 46. He wasn't a smoker nor had ever chewed tobacco. He went through surgeries (they had to remove part of his tongue), chemo, and radiation. Though his treatment was "successful", it has truly affected his quality of life.  He has not been able to return back to work. When our dad died in 2006 at age 63, the autopsy report showed he had lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain.  Then in August of 2008 Rick was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had surgery to remove part of his lung. He is now a stay at home caregiver to his 2 new grandchildren and has good days and bad days. In my family, 3 out of 5 of us had different cancers in less than 5 years and at young ages! 

In the past 5 years I have had a lot of time to reflect on life. The importance of health, family, relationships and happiness is something many people don't have or take for granted (I know I did). I have become stronger, am more committed to relationships and communication and try to live with awareness and being intentional about life.  One reason I started this blog was to share my story. I have felt such a strong pull to really do what I have been dreaming of doing. That, from my previous blogs, you know is something with photography, card making and scrapbooking.  I think about it all the time. And as my friend Teresa says , "if not now, then when"?

Cancer has affected so many people in so many ways.  I want to end with this famous saying about what Cancer can not do- the author is unknown. 

What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited....
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

Author Unknown

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