Breast Cancer, 19 year survivor
Founder, Emergence Retreats for breast cancer survivors
1. What was the darkest moment in your cancer journey?
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Mahatma Gandhi
When I got the news was the darkest moment for me. Shock. Disbelief. Confusion. The emotions so common when we get the “news.” Even though it was 19 years ago, I remember what followed. I said to myself, “I will get through this. I will be well.” I remember thinking, “Now is the time to use every single ounce of strength, all my inner resource and knowledge to become well.” I was more determined than I had ever been in my life. I wrote affirmations. I journaled. I meditated every day for at least an hour. I visualized myself in perfect health, in every single cell in my body. It worked. That was 19 years ago.
2. If you could go back and talk to your pre-cancer self, what would you say?
“You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true.” Richard Bach
If I could go back and talk to my pre-cancer self I would tell her that she has everything she needs for the journey that’s ahead and that there will be gifts that come with the journey.
3. How has cancer changed you?
“Courage is the commitment to begin, without any guarantee of success.” Goethe
Cancer caused me to stop and look deeply within at what I really wanted out of life. It caused me to take some risks and follow my heart. Over the next few years after my diagnosis, I quit my corporate executive position and took the risk of starting my own business. It felt like jumping off a cliff and took much courage. I also relocated to Arizona from Colorado to be near my daughter and two little granddaughters. Great decision for many reasons! The biggest one being that the year after we moved to Arizona, the twins were born! I got to see little Max and Maci almost every day, growing from taking their very first breath to being 13 years old today.
4. What motivated you to pursue your 2nd Act? (OR) How did you find the inspiration to do your 2nd Act?
“You have to know what sparks the light within you, so that you can illuminate the world.” Oprah
My 2nd Act was inspired by what I realized was my life purpose: to be a catalyst to others to live a life of passion and joy. My new business was life and career coaching, based on the premise that everyone has a core genius and can live an extraordinary life.
5. What has been your brightest moment in your 2nd Act?
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman
The brightest moment in my 2nd Act was a phone call from a former client, a woman who had just finished her breast cancer treatment. She told me how she felt stuck, overwhelmed and at a loss about the next stage of her life and had been searching for someone to help her get her life back on track. She asked me to develop a program especially for breast cancer survivors. During that conversation I felt a joy and a knowing that this was my life purpose now. Together she and I created Emergence, with the tagline “Recreating life for breast cancer survivors.” Today, this is the focus of all my work. Blessed and rewarded don’t begin to describe how doing this work feels to me. I fully understand what it means to have a life-work that “makes my heart sing.”
6. Where do you see yourself going from here?
“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.” Henry James
I work with survivors who have completed treatment in hospitals and foundations in Arizona and Colorado now. I want to offer Emergence retreats throughout the country, and to be a nationally known keynote speaker. I want to deliver the message that the time is now to build a life around what matters most, what you want out of life and what makes your heart sing.
7.What’s your favorite quote and how does it fit into your 2nd Act?
When I saw this quote I knew that it would be the foundation of my lifework: “Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined.” Author unknown