Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Out Of My Hands

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I felt this overwhelming sense of powerlessness. Previously in my life I had never so much as had a stitch or spent one night in a hospital. Then suddenly within a year, I was dealing with the incapacitating effects of chemo, coping with the pain of a mastectomy and feeling exhausted from radiation.

Before getting cancer, my only health problem was high cholesterol and being overweight--all things that I could control by eating better. But this cancer thing was not going to go away by simply going on a diet. The scary part was that even with all the treatments I was going through, there was no guarantee that I would end up cancer-free.

I realized half of what happens to me is simply out of my hands. So I might as well accept that as serenely as possible. We can't change it, so just shrug your shoulders and get on with it.

That said, we might as well seize what we can control to help get a positive outcome. For example, none of my doctors told me to eat better and exercise while I was battling cancer, but common sense tells me it can't hurt. Plus, when you feel as though your life is spinning out control, it helps when you are doing your part to manage the chaos.

Even today as I walk through life cancer-free, I am reminded of all things that I cannot control and realize the choices I make throughout the day can at least make some difference. After surviving cancer, it becomes more important to exercise your choice to build a better life.

Blogger's note: Reposting a post from a couple of years ago by popular request.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Samantha Harris's Double Mastectomy Choice Will Impact Lives

Samantha Harris, who once co-hosted Dancing With The Stars and is currently an Entertainment Tonight correspondent, has announced she will have a double-mastectomy after learning she has breast cancer.

Samantha is only 40 years old with two little girls--ages six and three. She represents the growing trend among younger women that are getting diagnosed with breast cancer. On ET last Friday night, she started sobbing as she read an email of support from a breast cancer survivor on her iPad.

Samantha Harris
I couldn't help but jump on to her facebook page and add my own encouraging comment. I told her I was six years cancer free, that I had chosen the most radical treatment route to battle breast cancer, and I believed that choice saved my life. I assured her she had made the right decision and before she knew it, life would be back to normal. I also suggested she use her fame to raise breast cancer awareness. By doing so, she could potentially save many lives.

Every time high-profile celebrities step up to the spotlight and announce not only that they have breast cancer, but have opted for a double mastectomy, I can't help but give them a huge shout-out on this blog. 

They help take the fear away from women who are faced with losing their breasts. They give them courage to choose a radical approach that will give them the best shot at surviving breast cancer. Not every women in the same shoes has that kind of the power.

My mother used to tell me, when you have the power, USE it. I am so happy Samantha Harris and so many other high-profile women of her generation have chosen to go public with their breast cancer battle. It is a growing epidemic among them after all.

Thoughts and prayers to you and your family, Samantha Harris. Trust me, you will do just fine.



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