A funny thing happens when you give out your blog’s URL. You visit it and realize it hasn’t been updated in almost a year. OOPS! Truthfully, though, its just because I’ve been living life and feeling so grateful for what feels like a second chance to live it.

There’s far too much to talk about from the last year. But a few big highlights:

  • I completed all treatment for breast cancer and am now on a six-month schedule of follow-ups with my oncologist. I’m on an hormone therapy drug for the next five years (well, at this point I have four left) to help further minimize my chances of recurrence.
  • I’ve had a clear mammogram.
  • The company I work for let me collaborate on a beer for breast cancer awareness that will now be a yearly brew every October.
  • I completed the YMCA After Breast Cancer program, and it has been, not to be overly dramatic, life changing.

For years, I’ve thought I should work out more, but at the same time I felt like my job was plenty of exercise. I walk a lot. I move kegs and cases. Surely that was enough. Heck, I had people tell me it was!

But honestly, it isn’t enough. The ABC program gave me the tools, knowledge and motivation to change. Now I’m pretty much a gym rat, looking forward to my text visit to the Y to work out. My resting heart rate is better. When I work out, my muscles actually ache LESS. I have more energy. It’s been amazing.

I also completed a small group journey (think something akin to therapy) and at the end of it I found my “why.” I’ve never asked “why me?” in my journey. At least I don’t remember ever thinking it. But when my program-mates told me how I had helped them through the program, I knew I’d found my why. To help other women who have battled breast cancer. And I immediately signed up to be a future small group leader in future ABC programs.

I learned so much about myself, about life, about others, and about the world over the last two years. I am stronger than ever, but also willing to admit when I am weak and need to take a break.

My husband and I took a short vacation to the mountains recently. I had been burning the candle at both ends (quite happily doing so, but…) and I was feeling just angry all the time. I was a whole MOOD. But a few days in a cabin, taking in the beauty around me… I came back refreshed and relaxed and ready to get back to work. Sometimes you just need to unplug for a bit. In fact, I highly recommend it.

Life is too short to spend it killing yourself. Don’t live on the sidelines just trying to keep up (or trying to hide). Smell the flowers. Dance in the rain. Climb that mountain. Drink coffee on the porch. Embrace your weird. Find your why. Always have faith.

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