Q: What makes you smile these days?
A: Family. I’ve been getting a lot of family time in lately, both on my side and Steve’s side and it brings the biggest smile to my face. It’s so important and it literally makes my heart beam with happiness. Also, Zoila my little sausage dog – when she’s not being naughty and chewing up my adidas shoes!
Q: Did you learn anything in your third year of battling cancer?
A: Of course. It was such a journey this year for me. I learned how to be humble and forgive and be forgiving. It could be very easy for me to be angry and bitter over what my body has had to endure, but I am choosing to accept that this is what was meant to happen to me, accept my journey and move on from it. The hardest part is knowing that I’ll never be able to give Steve a biological child. However he is so forgiving of that and for that I am the luckiest.
Q: What has been your most memorable moment in the last year?
A: This year has been full of many ups and downs. I’d say the most memorable would be bringing Zoila home for the first time. For Steve and I it was the equivalent to bringing home our baby. Something we’ll most likely never have the opportunity of knowing what that feels like, but when we brought her home we were both on cloud nine. On another note, finding out that I had 5-11 months to live and when Steve and I were given the news we went straight to the casino. We try to live life for the moment and not let things get us down. He’s my hero for that.
Q: What have you done to make your life less stressful?
A: I’ve stuck to my zero bullshit tolerance. I often walk on such a fine line of being content and depressed and in order to remain on the positive side of things I’ve learned that I need to protect myself. It’s a challenge.
Q: Are you carrying any excess baggage into your fourth year as a cancer patient?
A: Yes, I’m still trying to find my motivation. I’d say I have lost it some where along the way – I’m not sure where or how but I’m trying to find it again. It’s a tricky thing. For so many years I had so many goals to work towards and then when cancer came along my sole goal was survival, staying alive and everything else ceased to exist. This year I need to find myself again, refocus on what makes me tick and what makes me happy.
Q: Is there anyone that deserves a big “THANK YOU”?
A: Dr. Galliano – my surgeon that removed the basketball tumor from my uterus and performed my hysterectomy. Without that man I wouldn’t be here writing this today. HE’S the reason I am ALIVE and also the reason I switched over to Mayo Clinic. In his words he told Steve, “If she were my wife, she’d be going to Mayo Clinic.” And the rest is history. Because of the switch, my tumor markers are now at 3.8 which is the lowest they have EVER been since I have been diagnosed with Colon Cancer and they have my chemo down to an absolute science, allowing me to have a quality of life. Also, anyone out there, family, friends, supporters who are there cheering me on – I so appreciate you more than you know, so thank you! xx
Q: What are your top three goals for the next year?
A: Continue to stay in a good frame, a positive frame of mind. It’s mind over matter after all. Travel a bit here and there. And get my groove back in terms of motivation proclamation.
Q: What has the biggest lesson been so far with having cancer?
A: From pain, comes beautiful lessons and from beautiful lessons comes peace.
Q: What are your fears?
A: The same as always, letting fear win. Once fear enters the mind, it takes over the body and I can’t afford to let that happen.
Q: What have you struggled with in the last year that you want to change?
A: Again going back to setting goals for myself and sticking with them. Action follows focus.
Q: What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?
A: I can do more. A year ago when I was on chemo I would be bedridden. Now I have a quality of life, I can be 30 and go out with my friends and family and live the life that I have with enjoyment!
Q: What word best describes the way you’ve spent the last year of your life?
Q: In one year from today, how do you think your life will be different?
A: Hopefully my cancer will still be in a manageable place, where I can continue to have a quality of life. Second to that, I hope to get published and see the book lined on shelves for everyone to read. High hopes, always!
Q: What have you learned about yourself in the last three years that you have been a cancer patient?
A: I’m a survivor – that’s for damn sure!
Q: What is one thing right now that you are totally sure of?
A: That life and people are so precious – never take anything or anyone for granted.
Q: What question do you often ask yourself?
A: What is this life?
Q: Time or money?
A: Time. It’s such a strange concept to me.
Q: What is your wish for the next year of your life?
A: Peace, always.