War Paint What's your symbol?
- age: 54
- year of diagnosis: 2015
- survivor years: 1 year
- current city: Miami, FL
- type of breast cancer: Triple Negative
- profession: Exec Speech Coach, CEO Speech and Accent Academy
- What is your idea of happiness?
- Happiness is something we create. It doesn’t happen by accident and it doesn’t arrive by mail. We have to work at it all the time. We do this by identifying what we love, and doing it; by reframing our situation and doing what we need to do, no matter how small, to find joy in every day.
- When and where were you happiest?
- I’m happiest when I’m being adventurous and creative, when I’m learning, and when I am in the presence of love. This can be with my friends and family, with my pets, or my flowers, my poems, or when I’m with God.
- What is your biggest fear?
- I try to chase away fear when it rears its ugly head, but I fear recurrence of cancer. I fear falling off the tightrope I walk with type 1 diabetes. It is darn scary to fight two monsters at once. I once read that courage is not the absence of fear, courage is when you have fear and you do it anyway.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
- My friend Alice. She is the bravest person I know. I wish everyone had a friend like her when they are diagnosed with cancer. She believes the reason why we are here is to help each other. And she was undaunted in helping me in my darkest moments. She doesn’t always know what to do, but she steps in and does it. It was Alice’s light that rekindled my flame when I felt it flickering – she would not let it go out.
- What do you most value in your friends?
- Loyalty, and being consistent.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
- I wish I could speak many languages, especially Italian, and Greek, and Portuguese, and Chinese! And Japanese and Xhosa, Latin, and Spanish, Swedish and Swahili!
- What is your current state of mind?
- I am relieved and grateful to God that I survived. I remember when I was little and I would spin around in circles, then try to walk. At first I was wobbly and dizzy, but was so thrilled when I regained my footing. That’s how I feel now after the one-year mark. I’m just now regaining my footing and it feels good!
- What is your most treasured possession?
- My education, and my family history. These are not possessions, but they are my greatest treasures that no one can take away from me. Also, when I make a list of 100 things I’m grateful for, my insulin pump is always number one.
- How do you most like spending your time?
- Spending quiet time with my loudmouth parrots, traveling, learning and going on adventures with my friends and family.
- What do you most dislike?
- Dishonesty, cruelty and lack of empathy.
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