This entry was written by Lisa Marsella, regular blog writer and contributing writer for LBBC’s quarterly newsletter, Insight:
Each New Year brings new hopes, new dreams and great expectations. 2011 will be a landmark year for me. You see, I will be turning 50 in September and it’s so hard to believe! There was a time when the thought of turning 50 horrified me, but now I embrace the idea. Over the past 11 years as I’ve journeyed through breast cancer, I wasn’t sure that I would make it. But here I am world — still standing strong and still beating breast cancer.
What I’ve seen, accomplished, learned and endured helps me to realize that life is precious and beautiful. I am so happy to be 50. Every gray hair, every creaky bone, every extra wrinkle and pound is welcomed. I’ve earned them all and each of them represents a step in my journey through this life.
Not only am I turning 50, but so are my three closest friends. These women are more like sisters to me. To celebrate how wonderful we all are and to rejoice in the fact that we have all been challenged in one way or another, we are taking our show on the road for a girls-only vacation! We have survived and become even stronger and more confident women because of our individual journeys and I am looking forward to this vacation with my soul sisters. We will surely make lasting memories that we can cherish for the next 50 years.
This year will bring me other blessings I am sure! June will mark two years that I have survived with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. In 2011 the immediate plan is no infusion chemo despite my cancer metastasis. This is the first year for that. June of 2011 will also bring me another reason for celebration! My only son and youngest child will graduate high school. It will be a time of growth and freedom for him and for me. As much as I cower at the thought of the empty nest, the idea of it does sound quite appealing.
Every day I am here is a gift and a blessing. I treasure every moment spent with my son, my daughter, my husband and all of my family and friends. My daughter and oldest child may even be engaged to her wonderful boyfriend some time during this year. Seeing my daughter get married is something I’ve dreamt about since the moment she was born. In fact, 2011 will also mark my 29th year of marriage. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve always been able to count on my husband in good times and bad, in sickness and in health and for better or for worse. To be married 29 years is a long time, but 50 years would be even better!
This 2011 I plan to reflect and embrace all things that are positive in my life. I hope to dedicate more of my time to writing. It is a dream of mine to write a book about my journey and existence while living with breast cancer. My body, both inside and out, is also going to be a top priority for me as well. I want to get back to my daily workouts and return to the gym. I’ve also committed to eating better and putting more emphasis on all the things that are healthy and natural going in, on and around my body.
But what I am looking forward to the most in this upcoming year is being able to give back and pay it forward. So much love, support and kindness has been showered upon me and I would like to take all of that energy and channel it into volunteerism and activism in support of women affected by breast cancer. What better place to start than LBBC — right here and right now!
Of course I have whimsical desires and hopes for the upcoming year — as does everyone else. Let me go ahead and put it out there in hopes that these things may happen. I’d love to see the EAGLES win a Super Bowl, the FLYERS win a Stanley Cup and of course, the PHILLIES win the World Series. To see our troops come home would be amazing and to have our taxes lowered would be great. I’d give anything to see peace on earth and of course, a cure for and a vaccine against breast cancer — all cancer for that matter. Oh, what high hopes I have for 2011, but without hopes and dreams and great expectations, where would we be?
What are your hopes during 2011? What are you excited to see? How do you plan on making 2011 your year to achieve your long-term goals? We want to hear from you! Comment here or on our Facebook page.