Hi, my name is Adrienne and I have been living with stage 4 breast cancer for 4 years. My journey began in Sept. 2003, when I was diagnosed with stage 2B cancer and 14 positive lymph nodes after a routine yearly mammogram. I chose a double mastectomy and had 4 months of chemo cocktails. My beautiful friends & family accompanied me for “celebration of life” parties every chemo day. Then I switched gears to 33 days of radiation with week-ends off!! My machine was named “Bud”, and I felt lucky to get my “Bud Light” every day! I had a phrase for every day’s experience-Zap-n-Zoom, Burn-n-Bolt to mention a couple. I don’t have a choice in the challenges I face, but I DO have the choice in how I perceive and respond to them! I enjoyed 4 years of remission! The beast came back in my bones. I am on my 6th chemo drug, and 3 months ago the cancer grabbed my liver and abdominal cavity. I have been blessed with few side effects the whole way through, and I think God has taken away some of my pain. I feel lucky to have worked until now. I just retired in June. I exercise to stay strong, lead a very active life and travel as much as possible. Life is good!
What is your life philosophy?
Doing the cancer dance! A dance a day will pave your way. Sometimes there’s a different dance daily. I might have to add singing with dancing in the shower, especially during SCANXIETY! It might take ALL the dances, dancing in the rain, Happy Dance and anything to keep the positive energy flowing. Some days are harder than others, but strategies keep flowing for attitude, gratitude, and counting my vast number of blessings every day. My family, friends, and support system keep me smiling and strong! I collect inspiring quotes and wrote a prayer for God when I talk to him every day. Maybe you would like to hear some of it.
Good Morning God,
I’m so grateful for this day. Thank you for walking with me, taking me down the right path, and picking me up when I fall. Please help me today to think of others before myself, to help someone when they are having a difficult time, and please help me make some small difference in the lives of others. You, my parents, family, and friends have taught me so much about love, positive thinking, virtues, values, morals, character and doing the right thing. You have taught me so much about giving & forgiving, attitude, gratitude, and courage in cancer. I will use the gifts you have given me in my life every day to improve myself and become a better person. Please watch over the whole world, as you do so well, keeping our hearts open and bring us peace, love and gratitude. Thank you, God, for this day.
What supports you?
My faith, hope, extreme focus, my God, my wonderful husband, daughter and son, their spouses, four perfect grandchildren, my friends, my team of doctors and nurses. I feel that my parents, and many others who have gone before me are cheering for me from above to live on with passion and grace. I have a lot of “keepers” in my life!! They are some of the blessings I count every day. They are so much of what makes me a “thriver survivor”.