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You are allowed advice from a cancer survivor

You are allowed advice from a cancer survivor

It’s been over 12 years since I first heard those words – “ You have breast cancer.” You think it can’t happen to you. You say I’m 30, I’m healthy and I have no family history. Life was going according to plan, but all of that changed with those four simple words. One week I’m planning my son, Brandon’s, two-year-old birthday party, and the next week I’m starting my first round of chemotherapy.

After aggressive chemotherapy, a mastectomy with breast reconstruction, several other minor surgeries and treatment for lymphedema, 12 years later, I am cancer free. I am happy to say that I am now in complete remission because I was doing my monthly self-breast exam, felt the lump and took immediate action. I had been doing my monthly breast exams because of my good friend and co-author of Nordies at Noon, Patti, who was diagnosed at the young age of 24. Because of her, I found my lump and caught it early. Unfortunately, Patti lost her battle with breast cancer in 2003 at the age of 29. But because of Patti and early detection, I am here today.

The best advice I ever got was from Patti. She gave me a two-sided handwritten card as soon as I was diagnosed.

Card Size 1Card Side 2

All of these years later, and I still have that card in my desk – and pull it out when I need to remind myself that I am allowed…

Here is her advice, and now my advice to you. Whether you are going through a health challenge, a work challenge, a rough time at home or trying to just survive the craziness of your week or day, remember:

You are allowed . . .

to be sad,

to feel helpless,

to be tired,

to be depressed,

to be lonely,

to feel like no one can relate,

to wish this never happened to you –

or to others,

to feel “behind,”

to wonder “what if?”

to long for simple things,

and simple times . . .

to wish for more –

But on the flip side . . . . . .

You are allowed . . .

to feel lucky,

to feel blessed,

to feel loved,

to be surrounded by people who care,

to feel nurtured,

to be inspired,

to feel “chosen,”

to be motivated,

to be filled with faith,

to do what you can,

to learn to ask for help,


Which side of the card are you on today . . . you’re allowed.

What great advice for us all. Just remember, you are allowed, and at times in your life, it’s okay to be on either side of the card – to laugh or to cry, to feel blessed but also to feel afraid. I still have the card handy and pull it out on days when I need to feel allowed. And in life, we all have those days, so regardless of which side of the card you are on at any given point in your life, as long as you have your family, friends and faith, you can get through anything.

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