Utah Breast Cancer Support Group

Non-denominational breast cancer support group in Utah for young women in their 20's, 30's and 40's. Friends by Chance. Sisters by Choice.

Young Survivor Sisters is a free, non-denominational breast cancer support group for women living in Utah who are in their 20's, 30's and 40's. We've been supporting each other like sisters since 2003 and welcome your participation. Together We Survive! To join the conversation, please join our Facebook Page

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Advice from a Fish! Who knew!

I've been thinking about alot of things lately - but first and foremost has been the struggle that each of us face daily. We have so many choices to make - so many decisions that will affect our here and now and also our future. How we choose to react to life and how we choose to act will largely determine our happiness.

I know that some of our sisters are experiencing great difficulty with breast cancer issues or other personal issues right now. I'm experiencing some of those issues as well. To reconstruct or not to reconstruct? Are boobs really worth losing body function by removing my lats or abs to create them? What about the future? Will the cancer come back? Is the Tamoxifen worth taking considering the negative side effects?

In thinking about all of this and the other struggles that we face - I must say that I admire Dori on Finding Nemo. Many of you know that I've used her song "Just keep Swimming" as part of my motivation to keep going during chemo and surgeries. I enjoy her example for a few reasons.

First, she was willing to be a friend to everyone - sharks and all. She opened to heart to those around her irregardless of who they were and was willing to help Marlin even though she just barely met him. I feel that we also can reach out to those around us and just be a friend to those in need. Something I know we do now and will continue to do in the future. I have found that by opening my heart to others and sharing the talents I've been given - it is I who am rewarded far more by the love I receive in return than by what I give.

Second, Dori was able to hope for the best and make the best out of any situation. I like the scene when her and Marlin are trapped inside the whale. Marlins efforts to escape wore him out and frustrated him. Dori, on the other hand, chose to enjoy the situation and see the whale 'half full' instead of 'half empty'. Often times in life we are presented with challenges and trials. Although not easy -we can choose to see the positive in every situation - and laugh at the things we cannot change. Sometimes laughter is all that is needed to drive away the dark clouds that sometimes hang over us.

Third, Dori was able to forget the past. Now - I'm not recommending that we all go out and pursue 'short term memory loss'. I don't know about you but I think the chemo has already caused that in my brain. :) However, she enjoyed the present moment because she wasn't held down by feelings of guilt, remorse, or hate. As she said, "It's time to let go." When we are able to release the past - our present and future opens up to us in such bright ways that happiness can be ours. Change what you can change, apologize if needed, do everything you can and then - just let it go.

One of my favorite quotes that hangs on my kitchen wall states:

"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."
- Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley

Dori to me symbolizes this statement. Although she endured her share of trials and aventures - she was able to enjoy life, laugh and have much fun.

It is my wish- that we as Young survivor sisters may do likewise and find the goodness and happiness that life has to offer. We all know that life has plenty of adversity. In fact, if you haven't been through adversity, where have you been?

But as Dori put so well:

"You know what you gotta do when life gets you down? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming! Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do we swim, swim."

(Does that sound kindof orcha-ish?)

All my love sisters!


Erin March 11, 2008 at 11:09 PM  

So true!!! I LOVE Dori too! I think I relate best with her memory loss! I'm swimmin'!

Books Available

Ginny and I (Erin) have collected a bunch of really great breast cancer related books and would love to share them with anyone interested in reading...Just leave a comment here on the blog and we'll arrange getting you the book!

Here's the list:

Finding the “CAN” in Cancer
By Nancy Emerson, Pam Leight, Susan Boonan and Terri Schinazi

Fighting for our future- How Young Women Find Strength, Hope, and Courage While Taking Control of Breast Cancer-
Forward by Ann Curry of the Today Show
By Beth Murphy

Voices of Breast Cancer- The Haling Companion: Stories for Courage, Comfort & Strength
Edited by the Healing Project

Just a Lump in the Road- Reflections of Young Breast Cancer Survivors
By Debbie Leifert, Gina Castronova, Dr. Tamara Brennan, Jackie Ehrilich, Cindy Goldberg, & Donna Palmisciano

Breast Cancer Survivor Fitness Plan
By Carolyn M. Kaelin, M.D., M.P.H.

Facing the Mirror With Cancer- A Guide to using Make-up to Make a Difference
By Lori Ovitz and Joanne Kabak

Breast Cancer Husband-- How to Help your Wife and (Yourself) Through Diagnosis, Treatment, & Beyond
By Marc Silver

First You Cry- The Classic Inspiring Story of One Woman’s Triumph Over Breast Cancer
By Betty Rollin

The Middle Place- A Memoir of Kelly’s battle with breast cancer
By Kelly Corrigan

Crazy, Sexy, Cancer Tips-
By Kris Carr--Forward by Sheryl Crow

Tools & Tips From the Trenches- Heartfelt Advice for Survivors Families & Friends
By Mary Olsen Kelly

Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul
By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, & Mary Olsen Kelly

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