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First Day of the Rest of My Life

May 9th, 2018 was the day that the world I knew was turned upside down. I felt confused, scared, and angry that I, a 27 year old, had breast cancer. After a few sleepless days and tons of research (if you know me, I really mean tons) I accepted it. I wanted to fight this with an amount of optimism and positivity that I have never really known. Even after hearing that I was Stage IV and that most people do not make it past 5 years, I was still ready to fight. That drive has gotten me to where I am today.

Over the past few days, I have traveled to and from Denver, CO to attend CancerCon, a young adult cancer conference. I met the most amazing people, individuals that I would not have otherwise had the chance to meet. These are some of the strongest people I have ever met. I met MY PEOPLE! It was the most enlightening, exciting, and terrifying experience all wrapped into one 3-day conference. I even went alone, which is something I never would have had the courage to do a year ago. I met people by approaching them first, which is never something I would have done a year ago. I spoke in front of a group and told my story, which is never something I would have done a year ago. You see the trend here! Through this journey I have grown so much that I cannot be upset that I have cancer.

May 9th, 2018 was the first day of the rest of my life. This was when I started living! I was in a shell previously. Scared to step out of my element. Scared to make new friends. Scared to speak in front of people. SCARED! This is not the way life should be lived. Life should be fun, exciting, adventurous, and care free. I did not realize the control that this fear had over me until this diagnosis, and now I feel free. Yes, there are still times I get scared of new scans or what my future will hold, but these trials last only moments and no longer weeks, days, or even months.

Some people may disagree when I say that this was the best thing that has ever happened to me, but I truly believe that God is leading me towards my purpose on this Earth. I have realizations now of my purpose that I have never had before. Doors are opening and things are falling into place.

As far as what the next steps are, I am continuing maintenance treatment every three weeks. I have my last CT scan prior to surgery on May, 9th (weird right!). I am currently scheduled to have a double mastectomy on June 12th, the day before my 29th birthday. Now you may ask, why on earth would you keep that date. I will have more birthdays, that's why!

I want to thank everyone who has helped me grow this past year. From my Oncology and nursing team at CGH to my family, friends, coworkers, boyfriend, and the random people who I have met that have made an impact on my life.

Stay tuned for updates! I'm just getting started!

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