Stephanie’s life with metastatic breast cancer is unique. She was first diagnosed in 1991 and has been living creatively with it ever since.
Prior to her diagnosis, Stephanie lived a cancer-proof lifestyle. She was involved in natural medicine for many years and even worked in a natural foods store. A rare genetic disorder and an abundance of health issues throughout her life made her predisposed to cancer. Stephanie originally noticed a chain of lumps in her left breast that she said was hard to ignore.
When she was diagnosed with cancer Stephanie was shocked, but instantly adopted a take charge attitude that’s helped her throughout the years.
She reflected, “I think now 20 something years into it I have this incredible sense of wonder, like ‘Why am I still alive, when so many people I’ve met through cancer aren’t. What am I here for?’”
Stephanie tried many different treatments throughout the years, but said she hasn’t done as much chemotherapy as one might think. “I’ve done a lot of alternative treatment. In the conventional realm, I’ve done a lot of surgery and hormonal therapy,” she recalled.
Stephanie said cancer changed the landscape of her life.
“I went from working to not working. I went from partnered to not partnered. I went from low middle income to very, very low income. I went from physically fit to being disabled. There have just been so many changes. I went from being afraid of death and dying – to not,” she reflected.
Stephanie emphasized the importance of discovering who you are when you receive a cancer diagnosis. “Find out who you are. Make good choices that are consistent with that and find good allies in the medical world and in your personal life.”
She has also learned the importance of having good people in her life. Stephanie received help from many people to stay as independent as possible throughout the years.
“I recognize how much I need good people. A lot of them have been here all throughout and new people have come in,” Stephanie reflected. “I’ve developed many good friendships while living with cancer.”
MyLifeLine.org has been an outlet for Stephanie to communicate her feelings through her writing and to stay connected to friends, family and even strangers who’ve found her site.
“For me it is a way to condense or consolidate my feelings and thinkings about my experience so I can share it with a lot of people without having to hunt them down,” Stephanie said. “I’m very grateful to stay connected with so many good people.”
Read more about Stephanie’s inspirational story by visiting her MyLifeLine.org personal site.