“I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer on October 1, 2009. I don’t think anyone wants to hear those words but I knew I would beat it. The gloves were on and I was ready to kick butt.
After 9 months of chemotheraphy, surgery, radiation I thought I knocked it out. To my surprise winning that fight was only the beginning. I spent another year fighting auto immune issues. So the testing begins, MRI’s, PET scans, CT scans, blood work. I was told I would need a liver transplant within a year. I was in a wheelchair for about 6 month caused by my lupus diagnose and fatigue that would keep me in bed for days.
To say that this was a lot to deal with, it was. I know that I’m a strong person but at a point you need someone or something to hold you up. I had my loved ones and friends but I needed someone to really understand what it was like to walk in my shoes. I joined support groups and cancer organization all very helpful but I believe the biggest transformation was my first yoga retreat that the “Foundation for Living Beauty” hosted.
I will never forget the first day. I felt like I belonged and I was understood. More importantly I was embraced so tight I felt completely supported. I could be strong and vulnerable at the same time. I met women whos fight was harder than mine and the courage they possessed only made me stronger. It is the strength in that room that first day I carry with me.
Now when I’m told how amazing I look or how great I’m doing or what an inspiration I am, I know that I carry the strength and courage of these beautiful women. That is the gift the “Foundation for Living Beauty” gave me and others fighting cancer.
I did know that first day I was diagnosed that I would survive cancer but I could have never imagine the sisterhood that empowers me everyday.
I’M GENA AND I’M A LIVING BEAUTY “