Yup…..it’s that time of year again!

New Years Eve ! A night when all I see on social media, are people’s “reflections” on the year that we are leaving, and their “resolutions” for the one that lies ahead. And I feel like such a slacker, because I haven’t reflected OR resolved to do anything. So I guess I’d better get me arse in gear, and do some serious contemplation of my life over the last year. And possibly set some goals for 2019 while I’m at it.

BIG reflections include;

Meeting my deceased brothers daughter, my niece Hayley, in Brisbane Australia at the beginning of the year. THAT was the highlight of my trip, and of my year. Turning the big 50 in New Zealand with my recently discovered cousins (because of my brother Sean’s research in to our family tree…thank you Sean), was also such a blessing.

And spending 3 weeks with said brother here in Maine in September was absolutely brilliant.

Starting my blog, and really feeling the benefit of writing down my thoughts, not just for myself, but for the people whom my words have seemed to strike a cord, has been amazing.

Participating in Champion the Cure Challenge, Beth C. Wright Ride for Life, and The Dempsey Challenge, to raise awareness, money for research and services for people affected by cancer. Advocating has been even more prevalent in my life this year, and has helped me heal and grow as a person. I have been involved in support groups, both online and in real time, and have felt the healing that happens with those connections.

Completing my mastectomy scar coverup tattoos, and every morning waking up to see a work of art, NOT a work of cancer. And getting to share my experience on News Center Maine and social media to help inspire and educate others about the alternative options that are out there to help you feel whole again after a double mastectomy.

Being published in Coping with Cancer Magazine, in The Dear Boobs Project book, writhing for various online blogs and websites for breast cancer survivors, and recording my first Pod Cast to be aired in January. Never would I have expected my life to take this path, into writing, being on TV, speaking to groups. But I am doing what I am supposed to do. I have found my purpose.

And last, but certainly not least, are the connections with the people I have met at the different challenges, on the online breast cancer community sites, and in my travels as #boobambassador. These connections are what make the story of my life.

2018 has been a very good year. I am grateful for the chance to have lived it to the fullest. And I resolve to do the same in 2019.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

T.S Elliot

Author: boobambassador

My sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, so I was being closely monitored by my medical team. Despite this, my cancer went undetected until I found it on April 20th, 2015. Stage II Invasive Ductal Carcinoma ER/PR+ HER2- . At no point did I ever say “why me”, it was more “why not me?” Millions of women world wide deal with hearing those words “it’s cancer”, and I was determined to face this new challenge in my life head on. I have taken this opportunity to educate myself and others about navigating this horror that is called cancer (or as I so lovingly call it, my "shit storm"!). I have chosen to deal with it with humor, exercise, knowledge, and a "tribe" of supporting individuals including family, friends, and an amazing medical team. As a Physical Therapy Assistant, I am furthering my education to provide oncology rehab to patients like myself undergoing cancer treatment. I found that carefully monitored exercise during chemo and other treatments for cancer, helped me minimize the side effects of medications, and provide a better quality of life. I am passionate about helping others through their "shit storm" and look forward to being part of my patients “tribe”. My medical team at the local hospital that I work for have been outstanding. We are very fortunate to have this level of care in a more rural setting. To my team and my "tribe", I cannot thank you enough. "She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails" Elizabeth Edwards To women (and men) going through this I would offer two words of advice.....adjust your sails, navigate a course with your team and sail through it. And look yourself in the mirror every day and repeat "I am the strongest person I know"! We ALL have the warrior within us, and when faced with a challenge, we fight.

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