A woman shrugs as a large, judgmental finger points at her

My Recurrence: Please Don't Judge

Last updated: November 2020

Yes, it is true for me ~ I believe that God has a plan for my life. My story of recurrence might appear to be “causal” or “careless”. Every story has a lesson to convey and I hope my story helps someone diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

First diagnosis

Age: 47 years old
Date: November 9, 2000
Diagnosis: Ductal Carcinoma Insitu (right breast)
Treatment: Lumpectomy followed by six weeks of radiation

Second diagnosis

Age: 64 years old
Date: April 24, 2018
Diagnosis: Metastatic breast cancer (spread to the bone)
Treatment: Ongoing, currently on monthly injections of Xgeva and Faslodex. Also taking an oral drug morning and evening: Verzenio

So, what happened during those 18 years?

Living life to the fullest

I lived my life to the fullest. At that time, I had a very busy job running a Spirituality Center. It was a very special career for me almost a vocation to welcome people for retreat who needed a respite from their busy and overwhelming lives. During those years and after my first diagnosis in November 2000, I began facilitating a cancer support group. The group was based on a model I created that had components of sharing thoughts and spirituality with women and men who had various types of cancer. The many people I met monthly educated me in many ways. The group took on the name “The Circle of Light”. Each person had a story to tell. Each had a lesson to teach me something.

This might sound crazy but after sitting with many of these individuals, I opted to skip my annual mammogram and regular doctor visits. I wasn’t frightened by the stories rather they educated me and helped me see the direction of my life. These stories showed me that there is a plan for your life. During these years, I had a few colds and was feeling great. Life was very busy. Additionally, my Mom and Dad needed a lot of my attention, so I put my health on hold. I think, in my mind, I did not want anything to interrupt the flow of my life like another cancer diagnosis.

The choice not to immerse myself into medical exams and tests was all mine. I accept my current situation and embrace my life with positivity. Believe it or not, these days I am one of the happiest people you will ever meet. Each day of my life is filled with moments of gratitude for so many people in my life - a husband who loves me, two adult daughters along with their husbands who support me, and not to forget - two beautiful granddaughters who give me a reason to live. Pure joy!

Gratitude and acceptance

I could blame myself for the present, but I find myself not living in the past or letting “fear” be my tour guide. Rather I choose gratitude and acceptance. I believe releasing negative energy from one’s past can free the mind and body to make room for self-love and acceptance.

Time is very precious to me. I can’t waste time wondering “what if”? For me, God has a plan. I don’t think he is done with me. Off to celebrate another day.

Stay Amazed.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on November 5, 2019, Linda passed away. Linda’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.

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