I’ve been married to my beloved husband for over 40 years, and I
am the mother of two wonderful daughters and five fantastic grandchildren.
Music has always been an important dimension in my life. It transports
my mind to a more peaceful place and moves my soul. Sometimes, a good
dance when no one is watching is the best medicine. Whatever your style,
if it moves you then you need to listen often and dance more.
In 2000, at the age of 43, I noticed that one breast was getting larger
than the other. I had a mammogram that showed calcifications and underwent
a biopsy which was positive for breast cancer. Additional scans were done
and showed cancer in my sternum, and I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic
breast cancer, which was quite a shock.
I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction and chemotherapy. I showed
up for my first chemotherapy appointment in full army camouflage, determined
to be brave and strong and fight this beast. Although I’ve had treatment
off and on through the years since that time, I have also been blessed
to travel to Italy and Ireland, and I have seen my grandchildren grow
My creativity has been my soul keeper, my mind keeper, my sanity solver.
I’ve explored photography, studied graphic design, created my own
line of clothing, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I also took
a woodworking class and along the way I’ve made Adirondack chairs,
a table, a tiki bar that is still on my patio today, and a floor mirror
that I proudly look upon daily. When my cancer recurred and I could no
longer do woodworking, I took up watercolor painting. I don’t paint
still lifes, I paint stilettos.
Eighteen years after my diagnosis, I am still fighting! I have written
a book about my journey that I hope is an inspiration to other women.
I call myself a metavivor—someone living with metastatic breast
cancer. I will fight with all my might to not be a statistic.
My message for other women
People have called me strong for enduring all I have been through with
this disease. Do I know where this strength comes from? No, but I felt
it each time it came back. I was a batter at the plate. I had to do what
I had to do to move forward. I am a strong believer in listening to my
intuition and asking lots of questions. My faith in God and the power
of prayer is my constant companion in this battle. Knowing people were
praying for me gave me the fortitude to fight. Be strong, be a fighter
and trust your intuition.
Sephora at The Gardens Mall
3101 PGA Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens,