I come from a middle class family of seven in south western Pennsylvania. At the age of eighteen I came to Rochester in search of employment. I am happily married and am blessed with a daughter, twin boys and four wonderful grandchildren. Being a craftsman, I’ve done stained glass, pierced and cut lamp shades and paint in watercolors.
Five years ago I was told I had cancer, nothing new for my family. My sister, mother, and brother-in-law were all told the same thing. They have all beaten it and I was sure I would too. My cancer metastasized to my brain and spine two years later. I then was told I had nine months to a year to live. Life was suddenly different, in one afternoon, I cried for two weeks. Being a born again Christian, I knew God would be with me, but right then I felt very much alone.
After God had reassured me that He was still there, I joined BCCR’s support group for metastatic cancer. Through this group, I have met some wonderful women. Though we are different ages and from different backgrounds, I felt an immediate connection with them. The one commonality we have has very strong ties. We have laughed and cried together. I consider them my friends.
I have always believed the events in our lives, good and bad, make us who we are today. We can learn from these things, or let them break us. How we react is our choice. My life has changed. I have so much pain 24-7, but have decided to live every day to the fullest. Every day, I try to see and be thankful for the many beautiful little things that are so easy to overlook.
There is so much to be thankful for, life is good and I am blessed.