In 1996, at age 43, I went back to school at Marylhurst University, while working a full-time job. Three months later I was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer. It was a really tough time to get such a diagnosis. My kids were young, my career was at its peak, and I finally realized my dream of returning to school to earn my degree in Communications. My doctors gave me a 60% chance to survive past five years. I’m so thankful they were wrong because it took me SEVEN years to graduate.
Like many of us who have faced our mortality, I re-prioritized my life after my initial cancer diagnosis. Before cancer, what brought me joy was working hard and being among the top sales people in our billion dollar company. After cancer, I realized my boss could, and would, replace me in a minute. My family, however, would miss me. I was diagnosed two more times, in 2004 and again in 2009. Each prognosis was worse than the previous one. The last time around, the doctor told me that my scan showed my cancer as “Consistent with Metastatic Disease.” Pretty scary!
When your mortality hits you squarely in the face as it did me, it’s normal to reexamine our lives and try to live the life we want to be remembered for. That’s what I did. You can too! In the process, I discovered my own “Super Power.” We all have them and I can help you discover yours.
Don’t wait for life to throw you a curve ball to learn what took a breast cancer diagnosis for me to figure out. Life is fragile and short. The longer you wait to discover your purpose, the less time you have to focus on it. Do it now, and you will enjoy your life more, beginning today.
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