A breast cancer survivor’s greatest advice for healing
Posted on June 22 2018
I found out I had breast cancer at Christmas.
When I took that call, it felt like time stopped, but that feeling didn’t last: the next few months were a flurry of appointments, tests, research, and preparation for my double mastectomy surgery, which happened three months after that fateful diagnosis.
Through good fortune and a lot of hard work, I’ve come out of cancer treatment healthy, with a little more wisdom and a lot more humility. My first Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a survivor has come and gone. Don’t get me wrong—I am so grateful to have lived to see that time pass—but for me and for thousands of other women, breast cancer awareness doesn't stop on October 31st. We’ll be aware of it every day, for the rest of our lives.
So when I learned that today is Pink Day, it seemed like the perfect time to continue the conversation—to speak up and speak out all year long to empower women affected by breast cancer. One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, so we owe it to ourselves, our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, and our girlfriends to take care of our health and to support the research that makes lifesaving medical breakthroughs possible.
Even better when we can do both at once, like with the Laura Stripe legging that donates a portion of proceeds to Susan G. Komen of Greater New York. They’re funky and flattering, and the vibrant pink stripes are a bold reminder to stay strong as I continue to heal.
What have I learned on my road to recovery? Three things:
- You’re tougher than you think. It took life raising the stakes for me to realize how strong I truly am.
- Be kind to yourself. Setbacks are inevitable, so don’t beat yourself up when you slip.
- You don’t have to do it alone. I’ve always been independent, and I had to let that go when I learned I couldn’t so much as turn a doorknob by myself. Everyone loves you and wants to help, so let go of your pride and let them. There are tons of charities to help you out, too; I personally benefited from Cleaning for a Reason, which provides housecleaning services so I could focus on my health during treatment.
Healing is a process, not a destination. I work hard every day to become stronger and more confident, and to be a role model and a resource for my stepdaughter and for other women. I can’t predict my future, but you can bet I’ll do everything in my power to make it as bright as these leggings. You can join me on my journey on Instagram at @breastcanceryogi or at my blog at www.breastcanceryogi.com.