I've never really liked January. Christmas is over. Days remain short. Weather is cold. And worst of all, there is all sorts of pressure to make resolutions that this New Year will finally be the time when all of our old, bad habits are broken and replaced with new routines that suddenly transform our bodies into Adonis, our minds into Aristotle, and our domesticity skills into something that suddenly surpasses those of Martha Stewart in her pre-prison hay day.
After decades of working in corporate America, I became a maven of goal setting. I quickly learned that each and every goal should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely (SMART). And I learned to under-commit and over-deliver. Fittingly, each New Year's Resolution, therefore, was to not do New Years Resolutions. And I'm proud to say that I have met that goal for many, many years.
My life, however, has changed. In 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I endured several surgeries, 27 weekly infusions of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation. Declared cancer free, I resumed my rather busy and hectic life. In 2014, I was diagnosed with a local recurrence of breast cancer. This time, treatment was a salvage mastectomy, four rounds of chemotherapy, 27 rounds of re-irradiation and 10 hours of hyperthermia treatment. In 2015, as I was finishing recovery, I was diagnosed with metastatic disease. Breast cancer had entered my bones. I promptly enrolled in a clinical trial, only to be kicked out of the trial after eight weeks because the cancer had spread to my liver.
I currently am undergoing chemotherapy.
And I will be in treatment until I die. There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer.
The median lifespan for a person with metastatic breast cancer is less than three years.
These are sobering facts. Some might even call them (pun intended) life altering facts. Although all of us have a finite time on this earth, learning that my time is limited has motivated me to start writing, in a more structured manner, some of my thoughts.
Join me as I enter this phase of my life. Learn with me. And most importantly, feel free to ask questions of me. Together we can accomplish great things.
To be clear, this blog is not, and will never be, a New Year's resolution. I just happened to start writing it Jan. 13th.