The latest from Jonna...
This year’s Steppin Out in Pink (2010) event marks the 2nd anniversary of my diagnosis of breast cancer. What a reason to celebrate!
Last year, I submitted my first story to this booklet. I talked about being only 42 having my first mammogram only to discover I had stage 2 breast cancer which required surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I also talked about the life lessons I learned throughout my treatment such as learning to let go and reprioritize what was really important in my life. Being thankful for wonderful friends and an excellent staff that I trusted.
The most striking remark I wrote about was getting the opportunity to redefine myself and looking back, I now realize what an understatement that is. Boy, have I redefined myself!
- After eighteen years in the design and print field, I can now proudly say that I passed my Certified Nursing Assistant state board exams in May 2010.
- I started volunteering in the chemotherapy area of Gundersen Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders.
- I started fostering dogs so they could live in a home environment until they find forever homes.
- I started my own health and wellness business with a focus on educating and empowering women.
The past year has been one of the most exciting years yet, and I expect that trend to continue while my new life is just beginning to unfold. Staying active, eating better, taking supplements and choosing a positive attitude has really made a difference in my life.
I now live a life of gratitude. I have given thanks to the IV’s and the radiation machines before every treatment and I really think that choice of attitude assisted me in my response to treatment and allowed my healing process to go so much smoother. I continue to count my blessings and I use the fancy stemmed glasses for everyday use because every day is now a special occasion.
My message this year is that there is life after breast cancer, and it can be the most exhilarating experience, if you choose it. I am literally “living” proof that a woman can start her life over at any age and after any obstacle that gets in her path.
Here’s to all of us being healthy, fulfilling our dreams and surrounding ourselves with love!