I’ve continued to live my best life in New York City, cherishing every moment with my loved ones, enjoying the job of my dreams, and seeing beauty in everything—just like before.
Over the past few months, I’ve found myself surrounded by inspirational women doing the same from Los Angeles to New York, across the country and around the world. This isn’t just about me. Women living with metastatic breast cancer are called “thrivers” for a reason: Nothing can stop us from living our lives to the fullest.
Here are some of their stories in their own words.
Young women often hear: “You are too young.” Or I’d hear repeatedly, “It’s definitely stage one” before my production was finished.
I was diagnosed at age 30, “de novo,” meaning I was diagnosed with stage four from the start. It had already spread to my spine. It felt strange because I was the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.
When I found out it was metastases – and before I did any further research – I was devastated. I cried and screamed. I was heartbroken. I could not believe it. From what I understand it was deadly. A death sentence. It felt like so many of my hopes and dreams for the future were collapsing.
I’ve since learned that there’s a lot more to it than just Googling “metastatic breast cancer.” You really can live a fulfilling life. It doesn’t have to be a whole part of me. Every day I try to maintain 90 percent of myself and then 10 percent of me engages in this cancer journey.
I’m not unrealistic about this disease. But just as there is the possibility of a shortened lifespan, there are also possibilities of wonderful things. I want to stay myself – and I’ve noticed that can Be myself and it doesn’t have to be such a big part of my thoughts. I don’t think about it all the time anymore. And I’m still in heavy treatment.
Since the diagnosis, I have made major lifestyle changes: I eat a lot more fruits and vegetables, stop drinking, make exercise a priority, and reduce work and family stress by meditating and saying mantras. In many ways I actually feel better than before.
I live my life to the fullest. I have friends. I love to dance. I’m super active. i love surfing Before the diagnosis, I surfed three hours a day, five or six times a week. You couldn’t get me out of the water. I had to start wearing a watch because otherwise I’d be out surfing and dolphin watching all day.