Mar 19, 2024 | Warrior Testimonials | 0 comments

When life gave me lemons, I wanted to throw them as hard as I could.

There are a lot of chapters in my life story. They range from rewarding and challenging, joyful and sad, exciting and scary – but I wouldn’t change any of them as they’ve made me who I am today.

In July of 2020, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. “You have cancer” are the scariest three words I’ve ever heard. “I have cancer” were the hardest words I’ve ever had to say, especially to my kids and family.

When life gave me lemons (aka cancer), I wanted to take those lemons and throw them as hard as I could. I was angry and scared – there were so many unanswered questions initially and it was hard not to think the worst.

Today I am here, cancer-free! I am proud of who I became as a result of my journey with cancer. I have been given a second chance! I take time to enjoy the little things and I’m mindful of stress and my mental health, taking care of myself in a way that works for me. I enjoy filling the memory banks of myself, kids, family and friends. Life is short and I am so grateful to continue writing more chapters.

A most recent chapter I’ve been working on is challenging myself in new ways – how I can give back, share my story and maybe help someone along the way as a result.

I’ve had an opportunity to public speak at various functions to support fundraising efforts for the mammography unit with our local hospital. This meant being vulnerable, with my image and story being out there in various ways, for public consumption. As a result of my story being shared by the hospital, I was contacted by the Warriors of Hope Dragon Boat team. A team of men and women breast cancer survivors who participate in dragon boat racing as an example of what people can accomplish after breast cancer. In addition to racing, we also advocate and support other organizations with their fundraising efforts.

Resiliency is described as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. We all face challenging chapters – and often it’s hard to see the light at the end or the joy that will come from it. I can now proudly say I had cancer and I am a survivor. Life may have pulled me back, but like an arrow, I’m moving forward, staying focused and continuing to aim for great things. I look forward to incorporating the growth that I gain from this experience into both my personal and professional life, highlighting how I’ve come full circle in my cancer journey.

Liz Humphrey