Have you ever been on the edge of doing something that felt SO BIG…so big that you were holding your breath before you actually told anyone about it? Well this is one of those times for me.
November is lung cancer awareness month and this is officially my 17th November as a lung cancer survivor. So, in addition to shouting from the rooftops that ANYONE WITH LUNGS CAN GET LUNG CANCER, (yes, I yelled that! And seriously, check and see if you fall within the screening guidelines and if you do, GET SCREENED), and telling you that even though lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, it receives the least amount of research funding. This disease is desperately underfunded and we need help! Wondering where to start? Click here to learn about quick and easy ways to join me and other advocates to support the lung cancer community. You may change a life or even save a life of someone you know, or someone you’ve never met. And believe me, that life may even be your own!
In addition to all of that, I have personal news to share too. If you’ve been following my advocacy work, or are part of my large friend and family circle, you probably know that not only have I been diagnosed with lung cancer 3 separate times in 17 years and had a stroke 5 years ago, I am also one of six family members who have been diagnosed with lung cancer. It is through these experiences that I have found my passion….talking to anyone who will listen about lung cancer, raising awareness and desperately needed funds by sharing mine and my family’s experience. Sharing how these experiences have given me overwhelming gratitude for this beautiful life through a perspective I never could have imagined. Like most things in life we can’t always control what happens to us, we CAN however, control how we react to it. 18 months ago, after my 3rd lung cancer surgery and a great deal of soul searching, I decided to make a career change….leave behind my 30+ years in the event planning industry and follow a path that has been tugging at my heart for longer than even I realized. It is now time for me to create different experiences on a different path and walk toward lung cancer activist and speaker. Although I will be helping industry friends here and there, I will be leaving planning events behind. I am incredibly grateful to my clients through the years for placing their trust in my hands. I would never have been able to experience most of what I have seen and done without their trust, and I have so enjoyed what we’ve created together.
Having the luxury of experiencing life-threatening illnesses (without actually dying) has taught me to NOT waste my time…to push for the things that are important to me and leave behind those things that may have become a bit too comfortable. To step outside of one’s comfort zone and move in the direction of one’s dreams and goals is monumentally important – even small steps can add up to a distance that can carry you far. So, here it is – one of my steps. Leaving the comfortable path to step onto the uncomfortable one at the fork in this road; to go in a different direction and see where it leads, just because I can feel it in my bones.
When I was a young woman trying to make a big life decision, I solicited my mother’s advice. Instead of giving me her opinion, she asked me 2 questions. Questions that I have used to guide my path ever since. She asked: “Will you regret not doing it?” and “what is the worst that can happen?” Well, we are about to see…
Watch this space for more to come on the next steps of this journey. For now, I challenge you to take a small step of you own on a new path that may be a bit uncomfortable and see how it feels.
Below are 3 suggestions – let me know where you land.
· Find out if you quality for lung cancer screening and if you qualify, GO GET SCREENED.
· Do something you’ve been “waiting” to do. Even if it’s something small – don’t wait!
· Do something in the direction of a dream you have and do it today...just one thing...
small seeds can grow into beautiful blooms along your path.
Why not, what if…