How I'm Living a Fulfilling Life with a Terminal Illness

family happiness health Feb 04, 2021

My life changed forever on Friday, March 13, 2015. At the age of 33 years old I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. As a young mom, this news was devastating. I spent the next 9 months in a variety of treatments. I had 6 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and 25 rounds of radiation to my chest. When treatment was over, I was told “go live your life”. According to my medical team, I had a complete response! Yay!!


I took time to heal and figure out what I wanted to do next professionally. I ended up getting my dream job, my family was happy and healthy and we were on a great path with cancer behind us.


Oh, how wrong that was.


At my 2-year appointment in the fall of 2017, I mentioned to my oncologist that I sometimes had a nagging pain in my hip. I assumed it was arthritis or some side effect from the meds I was taking to block cancer. We did our due diligence and I was sent for a bone scan, which turned into a CT scan and ended up with a new diagnosis- Metastatic Breast Cancer. Terminal. Incurable. An average life span of 3 years.


That was the darkest day of my life. I thought I’d be dead in the next few days. My kids were 6 years old and 4 years old at the time.


But here I am 3.5 years later. Thriving!


When I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer, I made a variety of decisions. One was finding beauty every day. No matter how I’m struggling or not, I’m alive and I want to enjoy being alive instead of focusing on the fact that I have a ticking time bomb inside of me and I’ll never know when it’ll go off!


The reality is, no one knows what tomorrow holds. I could be the “sick”‘friend yet a friend of mine could die suddenly of a heart attack. No one really knows so we have enjoyed today because it’s all we are guaranteed. 




This might sound crazy to many, but I’m living my best life in the face of a Terminal Illness, and here's why. I now live my life intentionally, with greater purpose and lots of positivity. And you can too


Here are somethings that we've done:


My husband and I made the challenging decision of selling our home and buying a condo. Living and raising our kids in a condo wasn’t in our life plan but it was the best decision we made. Living in on one floor with no barriers is very important if/when I have mobility issues. We also gutted the condo and it’s exactly the way I wanted it to be which makes me feel great knowing my personal touch is all over here.



I created a bucket/fuck it list as I call it. Prior to Covid-19 I was working really hard to cross things off of it. I also believe my list is a living document, so as new interests come up or as I cross off more things, I also add new ones too! For example, one of my first items is to go to all the major tennis tournaments all over the world. It was originally my plan with my husband to do when we retired, instead we are doing it now! So far as a family we went to the U.S Open, and I went to Roland Garos or the French Open in the spring of 2019. I’ve traveled to Europe with my mom, took a 10-year wedding anniversary trip with my husband and so much more! I can’t wait until I’ll be able to travel again soon. Our first destination as a family will be Paris- my kids want to visit there!



I’m also blessed with a very supportive family, friends, and my online community. This has made an immense difference in me living my best life because I have so many incredible people in it! I also made a decision that I only want to surround myself with positive people. Thankfully that’s who my friends, family, and community are for the most part. If I feel negative vibes I’m not interested.



As much as I’ve mentioned bigger life moments and events, small everyday mundane tasks, events, experiences mean as much as the big ones. Some of my favourites are coffee dates (when able to) with friends, walking outside, watching the sunset, snuggles with my kids, watching my daughter dance, cheering on my son at his hockey games,  a date with my husband. These moments bring me so much joy.


I hope my story has given each of you some inspiration on how you too can live your best life in the face of whatever is happening in your life at any time.


I’d love for you to join me over on my Instagram page where I share about me and my story @mscmommylife

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