Counting My Blessings: Reflections on Recovering from Breast Cancer

Last year in Cividale dei Friuli, Italia

This time last year, I was in northern Italy on vacation. A few weeks later, I had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. It has been an interesting year, to say the least. (Funny. My mother always says, “it’s interesting,” when she doesn’t like something.)

I am one of the lucky ones. My doctors spotted early-stage breast cancer on a routine mammogram. Surgery cured me; I did not need radiation or chemo. They tell me I am no more likely to develop cancer in the other breast than anyone else. You could say that I had “breast cancer lite.”

And, yet, recovering from the “big C” is not a “lite” experience. After all of the procedures (three surgeries), the scars remain; my body will never be the same. I grieve for the loss.

What’s next is up to me. I am responsible for my emotional and spiritual healing, and for my continued physical well-being. Practicing self-care is important — critically important.

Today, I’m practicing gratitude. I am glad to be alive and well. I am grateful for my husband and for my family and friends. I’m thankful for time with my granddaughters, for weekends in wine country and trips to faraway places. I am appreciative of so much… and very happy to be here to enjoy it all.

Backyard fun with Malia

What are you grateful for? Consider keeping a daily Gratitude Journal. It really helps put things in perspective, and it’s a great stress-reliever. Please share some of your blessings in the comments below. THANK YOU!


About Susan MacLaughlin

A health & wellness coach and workshop leader, Susan empowers people to take charge of their health.
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4 Responses to Counting My Blessings: Reflections on Recovering from Breast Cancer

  1. Lisa Camp says:

    Susan! You are so amazing. I am so sorry to hear of the past year’s troubles, but your post just highlights what I admired about you always. A survivor but with grace and elegance. Hope to catch up with you soon. My best to Bruce and hugs all around.

  2. Lisa, So great to hear from you! I would love to reconnect in person…

  3. Susan, what a scary, intense thing to go through. You definitely have the right attitude. I’m not sure I would handle your situation with such grace. Good for you for staying positive!

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