It’s been a long time since my last update. I feel like I always say that. The reality is, I could write in my blog everyday. My mind is always spinning and I always have something to say! There are times I feel more driven to put my thoughts down and today happens to be one of those days! Lucky you! 😉
Per usual, I will give you some updates and end on all of the positive this Pink life has given me! This past week I received the call that I had a new diagnosis of diabetes. My care team had been routinely checking my A1C in anticipation of this. Which was news to me! There are a lot of new studies linking Breast Cancer survivors to developing diabetes. There is a strong correlation to survivors who have undergone chemotherapy and even more so to those of us who are also on hormone blockers and/or are post menopausal. The lower estrogen levels have a strong link to diabetes. Receiving this news was a little disheartening at the time. It felt like one more little gift from cancer that I was not prepared for. Can I be honest here? There are SO many things that come AFTER cancer that we are completely unprepared for! I’ve always talked about life after cancer and what it actually means to be a survivor. I passionately feel that the HELL I went through fighting cancer and going through all of my treatments doesn’t hold a flame to be a survivor. I don’t want to go down the long line of things that make being a survivor so hard, but what I do want you to gain from this is some appreciation for the survivors in your life. I want all of you to know that we are truly FIGHTERS every single day in some way or another. But. I’m happy to keep fighting for this life I have. I am thankful each day for every second I have on this earth. That will never change. When you meet a survivor in your daily life, I ask that you have a little Grace and understanding that we are fighting every day, and the little simple things are not that for us. Give us a little space to fight our fight and know that not everything is as it seems.
THE same day as this new diagnosis, I was on a call for our 2021 P.ink mastectomy tattoo recipients! The universe knew I needed that! I am volunteering for the AMAZING Personal Ink non profit that gifted me my mastectomy tattoo in 2019 and changed my life! This opportunity was LIFE CHANGING for me. Now I get to volunteer and support this organization, the artists, and the incredible recipients! Meeting all of the survivors that get to experience this absolutely incredible gift this year is such an honor. Hearing their stories renewed the fire in me to keep fighting through anything that comes my way. I am so anxious and excited to watch these survivors heal and celebrate their beauty! Yet another blessing that my cancer have given me. I get such joy and strength being surrounded by other survivors. I am hopeful that I will have found a long term home with Personal Ink and can participate for many years to come.
Over this past few months I was able to participate in The Young Survivor Coalition Summit as well! As you are aware, I am a Colorado State Leader for the YSC. We had our summit via Zoom due to COVID this year. Despite the distance between us, we all got to spend time together and celebrate our survivorship. There is something amazing that comes with being surrounded by others that truly understand what you have been through or are going through. It’s a club no one would willingly sign up for, but we all enjoy and appreciate being a part of. Knowing we are not alone. Justifying our feelings and fears. When you walk around in your daily life as a survivor it sometimes feels like everyone is around you but you are not really a part of your surroundings. There are feelings both small and large that no one but another survivor can understand. You can never find the appropriate words to express to those around you and somewhat feel like your own species. Letting all of your guards down when you are surrounded by “your people” is so freeing. The jokes and sense of humor we all share with our survivor humor is so joyful. Being able to cry and speak openly with others who actually understand is priceless. Yet another tribe I unwillingly was initiated into that I am so thankful for. A cancer gift. My survivor sisters. My family.
Lastly, I have The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk coming up this October! I am an executive ambassador committee member for The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk with the American Cancer Society! Last year we were unable to have our in person walk due to COVID. This year, we are ready to walk together as survivors, in support of those we have lost, and together as a team! The American Cancer Society continues to raise awareness, funding for research, and support for survivors year after year. The different programs they offer and uses of their funds are truly for us. For survivors, for research, for rides to treatment, for mentorship, and many other genuine causes. For me, walking on this day is celebration of my fight and my life as a survivor. On this day, I am surrounded by friends and family who will celebrate and walk by my side with joy! It’s a way to raise funds for all of the wonderful contributions the American Cancer Society makes to the world of Breast Cancer, My world.
With that I will end my shortest blog entry with saying to all of you, thank you. Thank you for loving me for who am I as a survivor. For allowing me to participate in the organizations I mentioned as they all give me more fight that I thought I could have. Thank you for supporting these organization to allow them to change peoples lives like mine. I know that I may appear as a broken glued together mess of a person after my life journey thus far, and that may be so. But, I see a beautiful, colorful, pieced together mosaic or a stained glass masterpiece! Take in my beauty friends! Its all I’ve got!