Dec 4, 2015 was the worst day of my perfect life. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the young age of 39.
"How could this happen to me?" I couldn’t help but wonder. I had it all- a great childhood with loving and supportive parents. I married my best friend and had a loving 3 year old (at the time). I had a fulfilling 18-year career at JPMorgan Chase and even became a real estate investor at a very young age. I didn't know what bad luck or hard times were because I never experienced either. I was also the person who thoughtfully mapped out each and every move in my life in order to get whatever I want. Getting sick did not fit my plan!
My world crashed even further a few weeks later when I learned that the cancer had metastasized to my bones. I spent weeks confused and distraught. After all, things like this aren't supposed to happen to people like me.
Finally my husband said something to me that really hit home. “People die tragically and unexpectedly every day. You never know what can happen at any time. But God has given you a chance. You can do whatever you want with that chance". Those words snapped me out of disarray and got me focused on next steps. I chose chemotherapy, although not the textbook treatment for Stage IV. I was young and wanted to be as aggressive as possible and knew I could handle it. So here I was, ready to plan again, except this time it was a plan of attack!
The cancer journey has exposed exposed me to a world I never knew existed. In the last 2 years, I've seen this terrible disease ruin the livelihood and take the lives of so many women as the median life expectancy is only 3 years. I also realized just how underfunded Stage 4 research was and if more isn’t done, the stats just won’t get better.
Today, I'm committed to spread my positive-ity and pro-activeness to make a difference! l wanted to change my lifestyle post treatment, but didn't know how so I created this blog as a one stop site to help those who want to do the same. I am using my leadership and planning skills to fund raise for Stage 4, educate and increase awareness. Every birthday is a milestone for us Stage IV'ers so I started an annual fundraiser called "MetaBash" on my birthday to raise money for METAvivor. I chose METAvivor as they are the only national organization that exclusively supports Stage 4 research that benefits patients living with metastatic breast cancer through a peer-reviewed grant process. 100% of every donation made to METAvivor goes directly to research.
It took me a while to realize this but cancer is one of the best things that has happened to me. I've eliminated stress in my life because of that, I'm living the best life I've ever lived. I stop to smell the roses I never had time to even look at before. I spend more time with my daughter and cherish every moment. I take great care of myself by eating healthy and exercising. And for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm making a difference in this world.
So I guess I was wrong all along- things like this ARE supposed to happen to people like me!