As of January 1, 2022 the number of female breast cancer survivors will be 3,786,610 and the population of cancer survivors will increase to almost 18 million of which 9.2% are female. These facts are certainly very encouraging and give hope to those who have been diagnosed that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The challenge remains that one in every eight women is affected by breast cancer in her lifetime and almost 227,000 will be diagnosed this year alone. We see that 20% of breast cancers are occurring in women younger than 50.
Cancer has touched most if not all of lives in someway. Like you, I too have lost those nearest and dearest including a best friend to breast cancer at the age of just 33, a Grandfather to leukemia, and recently a dear family friend to colon cancer.
We understand the importance of regular mammograms and that early detection of breast cancer can save lives. We know that there are steps we can take towards leading a healthier lifestyle in hopes of warding off the disease. The question is “Why do some people come through their journey and why some don’t?”. Personally I believe that God has a plan for all our lives and ultimately He chooses who lives and who is called to His Kingdom.
I’d like to focus on and draw your attention to the good news. The good news is that many are surviving and indeed thriving beyond breast cancer. The question is how? Why are they surviving and in many cases thriving? What are they doing? How are they being and what are they thinking?
My research took me out into the local community to speak with women who are surviving and thriving beyond breast cancer as a way to encourage, inspire and give hope to other women out there who have been diagnosed and are faced with a journey. Over the course of several months I interviewed many women including those with stage one through stage four breast cancer. Each of the women had been diagnosed at a different stage, and were each of different ages and led different lifestyles and careers.
Having spent time interviewing each of these women, I began to see a pattern in how they were thinking. For example, one woman shared how she viewed her chemo treatment as similar to red Jello, a positive and pleasing visual rather than as she described another had suggested it was like the red devil. Another shared despite of the diagnosis “I don’t do sad” and went on at the age of 62 to complete the Iron Girl Triathlon. Another lives out her heart desire to serve and help other women and shares her biggest source of inspiration was her children. Another goes on to write her own book and inspires others with her courage and strength despite her diagnosis of stage four.
What was is that they each had in common?
In conclusion, I found that each of the women had two things in common. They each had a very positive mindset and all are women of faith. I am not biased, I am sharing what I found having completed my research.
Clearly we also see a need once treatment ends that there is a need for ongoing support and help for women previously diagnosed with breast cancer. Often they experience anxiety, fear of re-occurrence. Depression and transition from former life to a new life and also its not uncommon that many face challenges with their identity and image having gone through treatments, surgeries etc.
As a coach and author of A Champion’s Guide To Thriving Beyond Breast Cancer I am here to serve, help and provide support to those who are looking for help with life changes and transition. My desire is that this book will be a resource for you and will inspire, encourage and give you hope on your journey through and beyond breast cancer.
I’d like to give special acknowledgements to each of the women who so kindly and willingly agreed to share their stories in the book. My goal is that the book will serve you, help you and provide a ray of sunshine and give you hope and encouragement on your journey.
So often we forget about the caregivers, the ones who are also affected by the breast cancer diagnosis. Truly it becomes a family affair and is not isolated to only the one diagnosed. It’s important that the caregiver understand and have a deeper sense of what the patient is going through and also they themselves find they too need comfort and support. I suggest they too will benefit from reading the book.
Having a positive mindset and faith together with treatment can and as we have learned provide for a positive outcome beyond breast cancer. My desire for you is that you live on to accomplish all your heart desires and do not let cancer steal your joy or hopes and dreams for the future. Focus on that which inspires you, your loved ones, your children and see yourself coming through and beyond this journey. Be bold, be brave, be beautiful, be you.
Here are several video interviews that I believe will encourage you and your loved ones along your journey with breast cancer.
I had the pleasure of donating copies of the book previously to the local “Look Good Feel Better” Program – Helping women with cancer.
As a reminder…October is breast cancer awareness month. There are plenty of opportunities to show your support and get involved with your local community and walk for the cause. Receive your FREE sample chapter go here to download: http://janetimueller.com and if you love it, I believe we can help more lives, make a bigger difference.
About The Author:
Janet I Mueller, CEO and Founder of Leadership In Excellence Academy. Recently named ‘Woman of Outstanding Leadership’ by The International Women’s Leadership Association for her contribution to her family, career and community. Janet is also a mentor for the ‘Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship’. She is a proud member of the RAINN Speaker Bureau. Janet is grateful to God having survived a near death experience and is available to speak about her personal journey having survived physical and sexual violence. Her recent book ‘ A Champion’s Guide To Thriving Beyond Breast Cancer’ inspired through the loss of her best friend to breast cancer at 33 reveals healing stories for the mind, body & soul. Janet has appeared on both local and national TV and believes we are all here to contribute, beyond ourselves, to serve, to make a difference and to lead with excellence.