Don’t Quit

They say that we are all fused together by that of pain. Pain brings out the rawest form of human kindness and humanity and out of suffering emerges the strongest of souls. Pain pulls individuals together, something magnetic, something holier than gravity itself. Whether you can align yourself with someone else’s pain due to your own experience, or the experience of a loved one, cancer can be the epitome of pure, human agony.

Sometimes with cancer in particular, you can only get through it five minutes at a time, with each and every breath counted to propel you onto the next five-minute time span. For the last eight months, I have lived my life in five-minute intervals. Talking myself through the course of how to make it to the next five minutes, while chasing the fugitive that is cancer.

When you are initially diagnosed with cancer, you immediately want to reset the hands of time and relive your life in a way that you believe it could have been prevented. A fresh reboot, in hopes for a different outcome. But the truth is, no matter where we hide, cancer would still have a way of finding us. I am a true believer that every cancer patient is not reduced as a human because of their fortune, but rather given the opportunity to grasp the meaning of what it means to live, in the truest of forms. Cancer patients past and current, survivors of our yesterdays and tomorrows and the deceased share an innate bond, a bond that is unbreakable and a guild that is unlike any other on this earth, for we are fused together by pain. The thing is, there are two types of pains, one that hurts you and the other that changes you.

Within the last few days, I have been sick in bed, which always provides me with a considerable amount of time to be in my own head. Undoubtedly over the last several months since my diagnosis, there have been many twists and turns but I realize that even though there have been greater moments of grief than fortune and many things have been taken from me as a result, there is one thing cancer cannot take from me; the bond I share with millions around the world, despite their religion, sexual preference or color of their skin, we are all one in the same, fighters.

That said, I felt compelled to dedicate this post to all of my brave, unwavering cancer peers, we are all survivors and fighters, no matter the outcome. God bless you all and next time you feel alone in the world of cancer and whenever you find yourself doubting how far you have yet to go, just think of how far you’ve already been.

Don’t quit.

Don't Quit

Love, Britt x

Updates: 03/31/2014

#Lifestyle #LifestyleBlog #Summer #Swim #Vintage #Fashion #retro #BSMHB #BrittOchoa #BeStillMyHeartBlog I I

Hello, lovers! I’ve been hiding under a rock the past few days working away at my book. I’m happy to say I am five chapters in and it’s coming along well. It’s been very interesting to relive the last nine months and has brought up a lot of different emotions, both happy and sad. It has made me realize how far I have come and how much my mind, body and soul has endured over the last nine months of my life. Certainly it has made me a much stronger person, even though I feel weak from time to time and let my situation get the best of me.

I have some exciting updates to share. First and foremost, I have been hired by an online magazine to be a writing contributor/freelance writer. The magazine is geared toward women and cancer, but other topics will be discussed that will appeal to a larger audience. I’ve been working on my first few columns, so once the website officially launches, be on the lookout for my updates. I am very excited about the opportunity for many reasons. I am happy to be afforded the opportunity and experience to write for a magazine and strengthen my writing muscle, as well as bring further awareness to cancer and working closely with strong, independent women. I feel I will learn a great deal from this experience and can’t wait to share more details with you all!

Secondly, I had my first Doctor appointment with my Oncologist in about a month. It was so wonderful to see all of my friends that work in the office and I was well received with big hugs. It’s amazing how much you bond with the Doctor’s and nurses that are responsible for making you a whole person again. I truly don’t know what I’d do without them. They took some blood to see where my tumor markers and numbers are at since being off of chemo for the last month and a half. So, fingers crossed that my numbers have remained low since chemo. I shared with my Doctor that my neuropathy is still around, but slowly and surely getting better day by day. Over the last three weeks I have been keeping myself very busy and that has helped both mentally and physically to cure the neuropathy. As I keep telling myself, a body in motion stays in motion. Steve and I also met with a social worker that will begin seeing the both of us on a regular basis. For a long time I was too prideful to seek out counseling or to talk to anyone professionally speaking, however I have finally given in and think it will do Steve and I a world of good to discuss and work through everything that we have going on since my diagnosis. I realized it takes a strong person to admit that help may be needed and we both look forward to the benefits this will bring.

Lastly, I have been trying to go up on my rooftop to swim each day and get some sunshine. It’s amazing what a little vitamin D can do for you. Since getting sunshine each day, my mental state has been much more positive. I am trying to soak in as many rays as possible before we enter the Arizona summer. Thankfully it’s been a beautiful spring and there are plenty of beautiful days ahead.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I’ll be updating the blog later this week!


Britt x

Goodbye Amex, Thanks for the Memories ♡

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It is a bittersweet day for me today, as I have resigned from American Express.  At the ripe age of nineteen, I began working for Amex and essentially grew up in the confines of a fortune 500 Company and Corporate America.  Conversely, it felt as though I was working at a family business, as Amex quickly became my home and my peers became my work family.

Through the years I have held many positions, had fantastic leaders and peers alike and learned things that could not be taught inside of classroom walls.  This year, I would be coming up on my ten year anniversary with the Company.  TEN YEARS; which means I have spent all of my twenties with American Express.  The funny thing is, even though I was always the youngest within each specified position, I was treated with nothing but respect and age gaps proved to be irrelevant.  Some of the most amazing relationships have come out of working with American Express, as well as mentorships and terrific networking across the board.

It was an extremely hard-hitting decision to make, but I realized that I have to focus on my health and myself in 2014.  Presumably, if I were to ever find myself looking for another corporate job (if writing doesn’t pan out), I know in my heart that Amex will always be there.

It’s certainly a grim pill to swallow.  If you had asked me nine months ago if I would enjoy a permanent vacation, I would have said yes without question.  However, it would be based on my own volition, not the result of my health status quo.

American Express will always have a place in my heart and it is a chapter of my life that will jump off the pages for years to come.  As I close this chapter, another one awaits and I can’t wait to see how it all falls into place.


Britt x