A single hand reaches out, many hands are coming up to meet it from where its reaching

From Isolation to Connection: Telling My Story

I have a pretty unique story.

I'm sure people often say that, but I truly believe in mine. Not only did I have cancer at 25 for the first time, but I went through so much even to be here now, 8 years later.

Sharing my story of metastatic breast cancer

Recently, I have had the incredible opportunity to share my story, in its entirety, with the world. I saw the writing call from Wildfire Magazine for the metastatic issue for 2022, and I was in.

When it comes to leaving a legacy, my daughter was the first person that came to mind. She was born into this wild world in such a wild way that there was no way I could miss out on submitting to the magazine. I had to be delicate in how I connected my first breast cancer life with my now metastatic one, but I think I did alright.

Keeping my life private

Things were so different when I was initially diagnosed with breast cancer. I was very private, and I kept everything close to me. I didn't really talk about having cancer because I didn't want to. I just wanted to get through treatment and get on with my life. I had just gotten to where I wanted to be in my career, and I had to put a significant pause on my entire life. Everything was up in the air for me at a very young age.

Even after getting diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, I did not want anything to do with being a voice in the community. I continued to be a very private person, and I continued to keep things very close to me. Everyone around me showed up for a very short time, and then they were suddenly gone.

Feeling alone

I felt so alone after that. I felt like nobody cared about me or what I had to say, and I just didn't say it.

And then, I remembered. I'm not alone in this community. I'm not the only one experiencing the things that I am experiencing.

Once I started opening up, I couldn't stop. I love being able to pair pictures with some words I string together on Instagram. I love posting about my vacations on my blog. These days, with this beautiful opportunity here on this website, I love getting to share my thoughts with you. Naturally, after some time, I thought, why not now? Why not talk about what happened to me?

Connecting with community

There is comfort in knowing you are not alone and that you have support here. Putting myself forward now in this community has been one of the best things that I have ever done for myself.

I cried when I received the email saying that my story was chosen for publication. I also almost cried reading my entire piece at a story-telling event that Wildfire Magazine hosted.

I made it, y'all! I told my story in its entirety. It is now out there for the world to read. Writing the story, submitting it, picking pictures, and getting it all ready for publication was such a process. I loved the whole thing, and even after reading it out loud at the event, which is my absolute least favorite thing to do, I would definitely do it again.

Our stories are important and impactful. I am so very grateful to be able to tell mine now and encourage others to do the same.

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