I was ready and excited to be bringing you this first post for March from sunny Los Angeles, California....fate, life, what have you, however, had other plans. One of my resolutions for 2020 was to say "yes" to opportunities and be completely open to learning more about how I can use my cancer experiences to propel me forward. I became a State Leader for the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and I was eagerly awaiting the National Summit that was to take place this weekend in LA. I was excited about engaging with people like me...young breast cancer survivors. I haven't really had that much experience being around others who really get what it's been like for me these last couple of years. I was going to get to learn and be around my people! I was hyped!! Then strikes the Coronavirus.....dun dun dunnnn!!!! Long story short, ten hours before I was set out to depart for Cali, Los Angeles County declared a state of emergency regarding the spread of the coronavirus. YSC made the difficult decision to postpone the summit for not wanting to put so many people at risk for contracting this unsettling virus. To complicate this even more, I had already embarked on the first leg of my journey to get to LA. I literally just stepped foot in the hotel I was staying at 2 hours away from home due to my early morning flight. I received the alert and immediately I was disappointed, uneasy about all of this virus talk and obviously stressed about whether or not everything would get refunded. A little bit of chaos to be honest. I was also really looking forward to spending some quality time with my parents and friend who were traveling with me. For all of you mamas out there, you will understand how difficult it was to get out of the house in the first place! I already felt like I had put in days and days of prep work to feel like everyone and everything would be taken care of in my absence. This was a major bummer. So, what happened in the next moments propelled us into what has been unexpected adventures and hours of laughter. This. Is. Plan B.
Disappointment is a part of life, I get that. However...if there is one thing I've learned through the ups and downs of this cancer thing, it's that I don't accept disappointment like I used to. I have found that the control I do have in situations that are not ideal is how I perceive that situation and how I change my mindset to make the best out of even the most dismal of circumstances. So in that moment, we sat in that hotel lobby, had a cocktail (or two) and decided that we didn't necessarily have to end the adventure just because the event was cancelled. We weren't super excited about jumping on a plane to an area of the country dealing with this outbreak, but we could still create some memories and take the time for some soulful connections just a little closer to home. This journey isn't over yet, but so far the last 36 hours have included some heart to heart conversations with the two people who brought me into this world. I truly won the lottery with the parents that I have and I've learned how important it is to cherish moments with them and learn everything I can about them. Too often we take people for granted and why we put off meaningful exchanges with the people we care most about is beyond me. I haven't traveled with just my mom and dad since I was checking out graduate schools in different parts of the country many moons ago. It was time for us to laugh, make more memories and for me to say "thank you" to them for giving me a life that has been worth fighting for. We also chased some warmer temps (I mean I packed for LA, not for midwest winter) by taking a little road trip to Kansas City to have a little spontaneous night out with some great friends. We ate, we drank, we danced, we sang...Piano Bars are so my thing and I truly can dance and sing like no one is watching. haha! Thanks cancer. We are shopping in some of my favorite places and taking the time to just relax, laugh and just be. Life is a series of moments that can pass by so quickly. I am doing everything I can to savor each one and be gratefully present. I guess that was the point of Plan A all along, right? So honestly, Plan B is a little different, but not as far off the mark as what I thought the point of my excursion was going to be in the first place. I'm looking forward to when the summit is rescheduled for and obviously getting out to sunny California, but for now I will just take the moments I've had and the ones still coming at me as a gift and an experience of a lifetime. I hate the saying "sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory". Screw that. Value it all right here, right now! The good, the bad, the planned and the unexpected. It is all such a gift and there is such beauty in each and every experience you will have. This is a fact. On that note...I'm going to meet my peeps, not my cancer peeps, but MY peeps for some coffee and conversation. I hope you will reach out to someone you've been meaning to and give them a friendly hi, hug or something of the sort. But for goodness sakes, wash your damn hands....cuz CORONAVIRUS YA'LL! =xoxo M