Tree of Love
- age: 53
- current city: Parker, CO
- type of breast cancer: Lobular breast (stage 2)
- profession: Senior Director of Sales for Education company
- children: 4 (30, 28, 17 & 15)
- What is your idea of happiness?
- I am happiest when I am with my family; as an Italian that usually revolves around family dinners with everyone together and lots of noise and laughter. Spending time together whether on vacation or just for a Sunday dinner fills my soul with joy.
- When and where were you happiest?
- My family has taken vacations together to the coast of South Carolina a number of times. We stay in an area where the majority of the transportation is done on bicycle. We are together for seven solid days with little to no technology. Just time together, riding bikes, going to the beach, playing bocce, playing games, making big meals in the kitchen together. It is a wonderful time and the happiest I can remember.
- What is your biggest fear?
- Like any survivor my biggest fear is that I won’t be here to see my children grow up and get married and to be here for my grandchildren.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
- My heroes are the people that get up and work hard every day to protect us and allow our way of life. You rarely ever hear a word of complaint, but there are people that we don’t see that protect us every day. They are willing at a moment’s notice to sacrifice everything that is dear to them for me, someone they don’t even know; it is their job. That is more than I can really comprehend and I am ever thankful that in the sort of world we live in today people like this still exist.
- What do you most value in your friends?
- I really value the ability to laugh and just be together. Life is so hectic, but it is also uncertain; a true friend is one who is willing to give up their precious time to just hang out for a few hours to be together and laugh about the craziness of life. A true friend loves you through it all.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
- I have been a musician my whole life, but I have always wanted to be able to paint. I see things that I would love to translate into art. I wish I had that ability.
- What is your current state of mind?
- I am finally coming to a place in my life where I am feeling peaceful and calm. For so many years after my diagnosis and treatment I felt as though I was being chased. I am finally feeling still.
- What is your most treasured possession?
- My family.
- How do you most like spending your time?
- I love spending any free time that I have with friends and family. I believe in creating memories and whenever possible enjoy going to hear music, camping or other fun events that are about experiences.
- What do you most dislike?
- How ugly people can be to each other.
- In your own words, what would you say to inspire or encourage someone facing breast cancer right now?
- I felt so alone when I was diagnosed. I felt like I was on an island and the world was going on
around me. Life doesn’t have to stop just because you were diagnosed. I think I assumed that “someday” my life would come back to me. I wish I had just realized that I needed to keep living it every single day.
- What is your favorite quote? This can be your own quote or words that you live by.
- I have a pillow on my bed and every morning I see it when I make the bed. It says “Enjoy the little things, because one day you will realize they were the big things." I stop myself and try to put that into perspective for example, the things that make me crazy now will one day be the things that I miss about my teenage kids!
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