March 27 – doing life right

March 27, 2022

On March 27, 2009 I was 39 years old.

Our girls were 2 and 5.

We lived in Illinois and had accepted jobs in Colorado.

We were selling our brand new home and house hunting in Colorado while working full time and part-time remotely in our new jobs.

Glen was planning for an 8 week field campaign for late spring.

And I was dealing with breast cancer during all this.

March 27 I had a single mastectomy and we thought we were on the road to putting this all behind it.

This morning I looked at my “Facebook memories” like I do each morning and was sad. And it’s ok to be sad, for a little while.

A post on Facebook back in 2011.
2012 Facebook post. I still think Young Survival Coalition is amazing!

And yet….here we are.

Thinking back to 2009, I did become aware of the statistic that 30% of breast cancer “survivors” who are ‘cured’ have it come back as metastatic, uncurable.

I also firmly believed I was not going to be in that small, elite group.

I have to say, this is the worst club I’ve ever belonged to, and it has the most amazing individuals.

Reflecting on what I would do differently over the past 13 years….not much.

I eat healthy, I could have exercised more (who couldn’t?!) I prioritized sleep around 2015 — so yay me. My focus has been on my family and my career.

I see many people with a cancer diagnosis, including metastatic breast cancer (MBC) comment that their diagnosis “changed their life”. It caused them to reprioritize. It helped them focus.

With all due respect, they were doing life wrong.

A cancer diagnosis shouldn’t make you change your life. You should make those changes now. I didn’t need cancer to ‘show me the light’.

Take care of yourself.

Eat healthy (Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. -M. Pollan). Move your body. Spend time with people you care about. Have a hobby and spend time doing things you enjoy (and yes, that can be work, but not all work).

Am I more cognizant of my choices with my MBC diagnosis? Yes, of course.

Is MBC at the center of all decisions I make? No, of course not.

I never, ever thought this would be my life. It changes on a dime as many of us know. I’m not brave or strong (maybe a little). I’m living the life I was dealt.

Make the most of your time on this planet. You don’t get a second chance.


  1. Leysia says:

    Thank you so much for this, Donna.


  2. Diane M Charlevoix says:

    You are a very strong beautiful daughter, wife, mother and sister and we are so proud of you and the things that you have accomplished. Your spirit is amazing. Sending our love


  3. jillmoretti says:

    You’re in an unfortunate but golden place to know what’s important! Thanks for the reminder!


  4. pksnyder says:

    I had to laugh…..the “NCAR fire” – I’ve been saying that for years!



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