I’m ready for 2011 — I hope it is ready for me

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.

volunteer, lbbc, living beyond breast cancer

Lisa is looking forward to seeing many family milestones this year. More importantly, she is excited about seeing her 50th birthday!

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.

6 thoughts on “I’m ready for 2011 — I hope it is ready for me

  1. Pingback: We’re all in this together « LBBC's Blog

  2. Thank you Lisa, for sharing your story. I too, had breast cancer at age 50 and that, plus a move to Chicago from Poughkeepsie, NY, changed my life substantially. These milestones are what we make of them….and the pebbles in our brook give us opportunity to change and to take risks.
    In 2007, I experienced a high grade sarcoma in my right arm and metastatic lung cancer from that. I am in remission and still jumping over pebbles…my web site tells more….mary essert

  3. Id love to tell my amazing journey of breast cancer in order to help other women. I was diagnosed with breast cancer after being mis-diagnosed for two years by prominent doctors at prominent hosptials. Scary. I was a liability with breast implants with a hard bead I could feel and everyone said it was nothing…for two whole years of mammos…it didnt change…… I went to my gyno who told me to just remove it….she saved my life…if I hadnt listend to this doctor, I may not be here to write this story. She told me, go to my dcotor at nyu she is the best…so after 2 years of hi-resolutions ultrasounds and mammos from names I wont mention….including the whos who & the best of the best, I journeyed over to NYU…she said…its nothing….staring at all my mammos. I told her, but my gyno thinks I should remove it, because Im getting married next month and if I get pregnant at 38 on my honeymoon, it could grow. She said, well, if you really want to…but I have to have a plastic surgeon there…I said a prayer – like a moment in time…should I walk out? Never once did I think it was cancer since I had seen so many radiolists on 5th avene, a different one each time I went and the whos who guy and it didnt run in my family…..but the death of my mom who had passed of cervical cancer Not hereditary, and all her misdiagnosis of things I should have done…I said a prayer to her. Mom should I go under now right before my wedding? Yes, she told me yes and off I went the next day they had an opening. They were so sure it wasnt cancer…..I got back to my office a few days later the doctor calls me and asks me if I coming in to remove the stitches or to make sure they were healing properly and dissolving, I cant remember…I hung up and said,,hummm thats weird…yes, im coming….when I got there she told me…Im shocked….its early stage cancer…..OMG…..yes, my story to follow is antoher one like it…i changed the plastic surgery around at sloan etc etc…ive saved boob after boob….my story to follow will rock your world and educate all the women! They must know to take things into their own hands and get educated!

  4. I can identify with Lisa’s Story I want my life to mean so much more now.I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in November of 2009.I’ve finished with my masectomy,chemotherapy,and radiation.I’m in my last phase of treatment-every 3 weeks IM injections.Unlike Lisa,although I was 49 when I was diagnosed,I was still in the “grip”of Chemotherapy,so my 50th birthday was spent throwing up!What Breast Cancer has done for me-is change my whole life!Prior to my diagnosis,I was a VIBRANT,woman who enjoyed work(I’m a Nurse),and “hanging out”with my friends,and family.My 26 year old daughter,Tara and I have always been close-this has only made that bond stronger!But,what I still have difficulty with-my body feels like it belongs to “someone else”.I went back to work at the end of August,and after 3 months,I’ve been forced to take another leave.Please…believe me,I’m ok,just getting used to navigating in this “new”body! So,with all that I’ve been through,I want 2011….To usher in a new life,a new way for me!I want to empower other women to know….This is just the beginning!My life…Part 2!

  5. Dear Lisa: There was a time telling my age was a no no.I was diagnosed No 2004 at the age of 60. I now know that I have been and is still being blessed. What a joy to have seen both of my daughters have lovely weddings – to have the blessings of lovely grandchildren. I feel blessed to have met you. You are a lovely lady and I am looking forward to reading more of your encouraging writings. I am sure you and your friends will have a wonderful vacation this year. Like you I want my life to be about giving to others and appreciating each new day. In 2010 I had wonderful experiences I never would have dreamed of. I want 2011 to be a year of even stronger faith, lots of time spent with my family and friends. I want to appreciate each day even more than before, I do not want to be selfish in my prayers but to extend prayer for everyone of God’s children. I want to be giving in everyway that help another person. To be more aware of someone in my presence that might need a word of encouragement. To comfort as I have been comforted. I want to laugh a lot.
    You are beautiful inside and out.

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