Tree of Love
- age: 54
- year of diagnosis: 2011
- survivor years: 5
- Year Breast Cancer Touched Your Life: 2011
- current city: Seattle, WA
- type of breast cancer: Invasive Ductal carcinoma
- profession: Finance
- What is your idea of happiness?
- Waking up to experience the gift of another day and realizing it’s up to me, and only me, to make the most of it.
- When and where were you happiest?
- In church, the extraneous stresses in life just melt away. It’s where I’m reminded to leave what I can’t control to Him.
- What is your biggest fear?
- That at some point the cancer will win.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
- God, my dad and my Aunt Janet. God for obvious reasons. My dad because he has persevered and has an unshakable determination when he sets his mind to do something, anything. My Aunt Janet because she has been my female role model my entire life. I followed her footsteps to be only the second person in my extended family to not only obtain a college degree, but a postgraduate degree. I also could not have had a more inspirational role model as a breast cancer survivor; Janet embodies strength, sheer strength.
- What do you most value in your friends?
- Honesty, integrity and loyalty, and my closest friends who possess all three.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
- I LOVE to cook, but I usually have to follow a recipe. I would love to have the talent like the chefs on television who can just take whatever is in that basket, transform it, and create a delicious dish.
- What is your current state of mind?
- At peace.
- What is your most treasured possession?
- I don’t know if I would necessarily refer to them as “possessions,” but I cherish my special-needs dogs. They are perfectly imperfect, just like me.
- How do you most like spending your time?
- Training, walking or snuggling with my dogs. Cooking huge meals with friends and reminiscing. Talking to my dad on the phone (he lives 2,000 miles away). Tending to my organic deck garden.
- What do you most dislike?
- Rude and entitled people. I treat the checkout person at the local retailer, the waitstaff at a restaurant and the homeless person standing outside the grocery store the same way I treat the CEO of my company, with respect and compassion.
- In your own words, what would you say to inspire or encourage someone facing breast cancer right now?
- Be kind to yourself and others. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Allow yourself to ride the roller coaster
and feel the highs and even the lows. Let fellow survivors and co-survivors be there to walk side by side with you and, when you feel you can no longer walk on your own, to carry you.
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