After my breast cancer diagnosis 22+ years ago, I quickly learned what mattered to me prior in life was no longer important. And, what was not important took the front seat in being important.
Let me give you an example.
People rarely spell my name the way I do. Instead of Laurie, I get Lori, Lorrie, Lauri, Laury. That list is endless. But you know what? I don’t care anymore. It really doesn’t matter.
Now let’s flip that, to what now matters to me.
Breast cancer research. I support non-profits that focus on research. I did not allow being diagnosed with breast cancer intimidate me. Instead, I became inspired to become an advocate for research. I lobbied on Capitol Hill for three years with the National Breast Cancer Coalition for breast cancer research dollars. I never cared about this until my diagnosis. I care now.
Justice. I am intolerant of those who discriminate. As Americans, we should all be treated equally. We all have a pulse. We all have blood that course through our veins. We all have a heartbeat. Skin color is the color tone of our ancestors, our own individual history book. Not that I used to look the other way, but I did not make it an important issue. I now wear a safety pin.
Health and healthy living. A week after my mastectomy, I was hiking Bald Mountain in Ketchum, drains and all. It hurt like heck, but I needed to get back outside, to hike again, to bike again. I refused to be a patient, I wanted to be me again. Now that I live in Boise, I got a dog to be my companion when I hike the foothills trails or walk the Boise River greenbelt. I read labels. I purchase fresh foods, no processed foods. Although, I do have to admit to a yummy juicy burger at least once a month. The Stagecoach. I will leave it at that. I now try my best to eliminate the foods that do not suit my goals.
Happiness. I have must have’s and must not’s in life. I will leave it at that because they are my personal goals. For a relationship, I want to be in love, to be loved back and to know who I am going to grow old with. For my family, I want to be in a position to help them whenever I can. After all, they are family. For my friends, I simply want the truth, honesty, integrity. I feel I give that back in return. Don’t hold a grudge, it eats away at your soul. I am far more forgiving now. And, that has come back to me tenfold.
Smile every day and you will receive the gift of life. It’s simple way to live.
#BeBetter #BeHappy #BeGood #LifeLesson