- year of diagnosis: 2010
- survivor years: 5 years
- current city: Jersey City, NJ
- type of breast cancer: Stage 2 Triple Negative
- profession: I run a needs-based fashion business
- children: 3 (24, 19, 5)
- What is your idea of happiness?
- A day outside with family and friends which always makes me feel connected – to nature, to people I love, to laughter, to the best parts of myself. Being in flow when all parts of myself are in synch and focused on a task; I feel that most strongly when I am designing or doing something creative.
- When and where were you happiest?
- What is your biggest fear?
- That I will have a recurrence and not live to see my son grow up.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
- Regular people who dare to live greatly.
- What do you most value in your friends?
- That we are honest, in all senses of the word, and caring with each other. That we don’t let each other get away with nonsense. I love that with my dearest friends it doesn’t matter if we see each other every week or only once every couple of years we can be ourselves and pick up right where we left off with no loss of connection.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
- Musical. I dream of taking singing lessons so that just once I could sing Happy Birthday without wincing. Even my son used to say “Mommy, don’t sing” – it didn’t stop me or us from singing together but I wish it came naturally to me.
- What is your current state of mind?
- I’m happy and full of hope for the future.
- What is your most treasured possession?
- A necklace my parents made for me from my grandmother’s engagement ring after she passed away. My grandmother and I were very close – she had 2 boys and always wanted a daughter and I think in some senses I became that daughter. Wearing it makes me feel connected to my whole family.
- How do you most like spending your time?
- Listening to music (and having family dance parties), eating out with friends, playing with my son (he’s obsessed with vehicles so it’s usually something related to cars, fire trucks, or trains), herding with my dog, and reading.
- What do you most dislike?
- That we as people so often forget that we are in this together.
- In your own words, what would you say to inspire or encourage someone facing breast cancer right now?
- You are stronger than you know and you can do this. On days when that is not so clear remember that you are not alone. Lean on family, friends, and us – other women who have/or had breast cancer. And hold your sense of joy close – yes, it is possible to have joy and happiness in the midst of all this.
What is your favorite quote? This can be your own quote or words that you live by. Seize the day (and the hour of the day, and the moment).
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