Finding The Good When Things Feel Pretty Bad
MY ADVENTURES IN CANCERLAND
My life since the fall of 2018 has been quite the roller coaster ride, with thrilling highs and the lowest of lows. After a few weeks of feeling a squishy lump under my armpit, I decided to get it checked. After tons of tests, I was shocked — and so were my doctors — to be diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer called triple negative (TNBC).
A year of grueling treatment and surgeries put my cancer in remission (a huge win!), but created a mountain of complications in my body. While my doctors monitor me closely due to TNBC’s high rate of recurrence, it feels like we’ve also been juggling knives with the ridiculous amount of scary developments (you can follow my periodic updates on Instagram and Facebook).
BUT!!! AS HARD AS THIS RIDE IS, IT HAS ALSO CHANGED MY LIFE FOR GOOD.
- My relationship with the angels is even stronger than before. I’m often asked how I could have so many health challenges if I have angels around me. The angels are not here to erase every human challenge we face, but to provide ease and guidance if we’re open to it. I lean on them to lead my team to solutions, to help relieve my pain, to inspire me to be proactive in key moments, and more. Here’s an example of their presence during my first days of meeting a new team at the Mayo Clinic.
- I feel blessed by the knowledge and empathy I’ve gained. Before being shoved into CancerLand by the universe, I didn’t have the first clue about the many kinds of breast cancer or what patients go through. I couldn’t truly understand the challenges of chronic pain or life-altering disorders. I had no idea how difficult it can be to navigate (and afford!) good medical care nor the racial and socioeconomic disparities in healthcare. I believe all of this insight is making me a better human — an advocate and empathizer for those struggling to climb similar mountains.
- I cherish my precious life so much more and devote my energy to what truly matters to me. I was spread thin and juggling a million things before my cancer diagnosis. I wanted to be there for everyone. I felt pressured to be a flawless mom, wife, entrepreneur and community member. I thought I was practicing self-care, but I really wasn’t. To have to face my own mortality and live a life colored by medical challenges was and is an invitation to reassess where I was putting my energy, who and what I care most about, and how I want to spend my days — no matter how many of them I have left.
MORE RESOURCES FROM LIV…
In Sept 2018, Liv was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.
One of Liv’s confidantes in CancerLand was her lifelong friend Kelly, who was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer months before Liv’s diagnosis. After her passing in 2020, Liv started an initiative she and Kelly had discussed, devoted to telling the real, gritty and hopeful stories of their journeys. Learn more about Speaking of Stardust here.