I wanted to be a Rare Chair Survivor Artist again because I experienced so much peace and comfort from expressing my feelings with the art that I created in 2007. I wish I owned my “sunburst” chair. It was colorful and full of sparkle and light. A joyous piece to gaze upon and reflect about. I felt victorious! It represented how much I encouraged myself and how much I depended on God’s grace and mercy. Back then, as I moved through treatment and became active in breast cancer advocacy and education, I reveled in being tagged as one of the happiest people the nurses ever saw in the chemo clinic, Now at times I wonder where I put my rose colored glasses while thanking God at all times for such grace and mercy.
Since my initial diagnosis, my survivorship has been about . . .
discovering what’s next. When will there be truly epic leading edge “from the lab to the clinic” discoveries that give quality years versus miserable months to the hundreds living with advanced cancer? Will we come close to ending breast cancer by 2020? My survivorship has been about not dropping out and continuing my education and participation in discussions and organizations beyond myself . . . speaking, participating as a consumer research reviewer, going to conferences including the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, completing NBCC’s Project Lead and other higher learning opportunities in order to understand and sort through developments and recommendations. My survivorship has been about helping as many women and their families as I can live and enjoy life to the fullest . . . as an example, as a mentor, as a shocker absorber, as a risk-taker, as perseverance personified, as a support group leader, as a jokester, cheerleader, prayer partner, as a telephone call away encourager. Since my initial diagnosis my survivorship has been about standing up to cancer and for myself. My life has been about dancing for, smiling about and thanking God for the angels encamped around me to protect and carry me on and through.