This is Jean's final post in her exclusive three-part series for Spirited Woman. Jean is the creator of the very successful blog No Boobs About It, a two-time breast cancer survivor, and the former Director of American Cancer Society's NYC Patient Navigator Program.
In her second post - Jean wrote about giving yourself permission from treatment to survivorship. In this post she writes about how new beginnings are your opportunity to thrive.
After a few years of earning a living as a writer, I gave myself permission to start a company providing writing services for nonprofit organizations and small corporations.
One of these jobs was to put me in touch with hundreds of women who had survived breast cancer. These women came from diverse cultures, ranged in age from late twenties to midsixties and most had English as a second language. What most of them had in common was they were in the process of, or had made a new beginning after active treatment. Most spoke of becoming more assertive in their relationships, others took jobs outside their homes, some were getting their GED diploma others were taking college courses. A few had left abusive or loveless relationships.
Many of these women were “paying it forward” as volunteers in hospital clinics where newly diagnosed women received treatment. As survivors, they gave the gift of hope that only a survivor can give. They gave comfort to patients, speaking to them in their native language.
After treatment for my second breast cancer, it was time for new permissions and beginnings. The first beginning, the realization of a 20 year dream…a web site helping young children learn how to make good choices. Can Do Street, now in its second year, is for families with children 3-7 years.
Also in its second year, No Boobs About It, Inc., a nonprofit organization, helps women navigate breast cancer and survivorship by providing the most up-to-date information on research, resources and support services, via its web site, www.noboobsaboutit.org.