“A Memory I’m Grateful For”

three years

It was four years ago today that I finished my last treatment for breast cancer. It was the day I had waited for since the journey began and as you can see by the look on my face, it was one of the happiest days of my life! It was over and my life was all my own to live again without the shadows of cancer hiding in the background.

And in that four years I’ve written and published two books and began to realize that my life purpose had become just that: a writer of my life experiences; a writer that wanted to make a difference in the world and in someone’s life by sharing her ups and downs and how she got through; and a writer who will never stop trying to help others.

I say that “chemo healed the cancer but the cancer healed me,” and it did. I became even stronger than before and learned how to put myself first and more importantly, how to love myself as much as I love the people in my life. I began to realize the importance of surrounding myself with positive people and that saying good-bye to the negative ones wasn’t a bad thing, but a necessity to live my best life. And that it’s okay to say “no” to things that don’t serve my Highest Good and to people and situations that cause me stress and drama.

In other words, cancer taught me to treat myself as well as I treat others, to love myself just as much, and to be just as kind to myself as I am to them.

Today I sit in a bit more gratitude than most days and am remembering that day four years ago. I’m remembering the lines of the song I wrote about that day:

“Journey is over, the battle is won, a new chapter started, a new day begun,So what do I do now? Where do I start? Do I take the road known or the one less traveled and follow my heart?”

What a day it was four years ago…

What an incredible life it’s been ever since…

What a  beautiful word to be blessed to call myself today: “survivor.”

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“February – My Month of Love and Milestones”

february my montFebruary has become one of the most important months for me; it’s one I look forward to more and more as each year passes. The reason for my excitement about February is because so many incredible things happened in my life. They were truly life changing events; moments of dreams coming true; and signs of hope, faith and love.

It was on February 15th of 2015 that I met my love, Rob. We were two people who had new hope24been broken by prior relationships and had given up on love and dating. Yet it was through one long phone call that we got to know each other and the first date happened a week later on February 15th. We were nervous and unsure of whether we wanted to risk the heartbreak of another failed relationship, yet by the third date we had fallen in love. In just two weeks we’ll be locked away in an “undisclosed location” to celebrate our three year anniversary. No phones, no computers, and no work!

4 year survivorIt was on February 21st of 2014 that I underwent surgery for a lumpectomy. It was the last piece of my journey with breast cancer. It was on that date that I become cancer free and a survivor! It’s a day you hate to remember yet one that you want to celebrate year after year. Breast cancer was quite the journey for me; one that taught me so much about my life and myself. It helped me find my voice, stand in my truth, and to surround myself with only positive people. This year I will be celebrating my 4 year anniversary date! Each year is such a gift; each day is another blessing.

It was on February 23rd of 2016 that my last book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Throughsend to dad 1 My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” was published. It was a dream come true; one that became more than a book when I teamed up with a musician who wrote the music, sang, and recorded my song lyrics to the book. We did several public appearances together and used them as an opportunity to help others by making them a fundraiser. It’s another anniversary to celebrate, and a wonderful 2 year one at that!

promo picsAnd here’s the new and exciting news for this beautiful month of February, and strangely enough, an amazing coincidence: my newest book, “My Collective Soul: Things I Know Without Knowing Why” will be publicly released on February 23rd of 2018…just two years to the day that the last book was published! Yet I don’t believe in coincidences; I believe that everything happens for a reason and the Universe must have planned it this way.

And I’m so glad it did.

I am so incredibly grateful for this beautiful month of love and milestones.

I’m waiting to see what other endless possibilities the Universe has planned for me this month.

I have faith that it will be something amazing.

And I can’t wait to see what it is.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

gratitude for my life

 

“Remembering The Last Day Of Chemo”

It was three years ago today that I wrote the following post below. It was my last day of treatment for my breast cancer. It seems like that day was a lifetime ago but I’m forever grateful for closing that chapter. The journey of breast cancer may be over, but the lessons I learned have become a part of me. As I say “Chemo healed the cancer, but the cancer healed me.”

And it did…

“Today was my very last treatment of the “golden ticket” drug, herceptin, at the Cancer Institute in New Brunswick. The nurses celebrated my milestone by decorating the medicine bag with stickers, throwing pink confetti at me, and making me a “last day of chemo” sign! Even though chemo was done months ago, I’m grateful that my every three week treatment has come to a close. It was a day of celebration and tears as I said good-bye to my “Angels” who have been there with me since last August. They were my teachers, my mentors, and my friends as I went through this journey with them. They truly are “Angels” and I am forever grateful to them for all that they did for me. The last piece will be on Thursday when I have my port removed. So this is one time I will not say that a chapter is finished and a new one started; tonight I raise a glass of wine to “finishing this book, and never opening it again!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Chemo Healed The Cancer But The Cancer Healed Me”

My last book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned From My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” was born over two years ago while lying on a radiation table for breast cancer.

I’m the type of person that loves meeting people because every single one of us has a story…we ARE a story! Some may not believe that, yet as a writer, I know it’s true. I was out to dinner with my love one night, along with his cousin and his love, and a table full of people I had never met. Yet by the end of the night, I knew them well.

You see, that’s the beauty of paying attention to people and speaking to them, yet more importantly, LISTENING to them. They were laughing at me last night when I said that the whole night of conversations was indeed a story!

So it’s no surprise that “Waking Up” was born; the idea may have begun on a radiation table, yet the stories were already taking shape in my mind, and for the last two years of writing it, more stories were born. Every story is true; most of them are of my personal experiences, and there are a few born out of situations with someone else who graciously allowed me to write about it

Yet, here’s what that one moment that woke me up was: “breast cancer!”

Yes, I had been on a spiritual journey for years, but finding out I had cancer was a big kick in the ass! I realized that as much as I had learned over the years, the lessons were far from over. Breast cancer changed my life and how I live it. That tumor was all the things I never said out loud, all the pain of allowing people to treat me badly. It was everything I never said that I should have, so I made a deal with the cancer: “I’ll open my mouth and use my voice, I’ll make better choices of who I surround myself with, I’ll rid myself of people and situations that make me feel less than good, and I’ll take all of this and write about it to help someone else as long as you leave my body when the time is right.”

I guess the cancer agreed with the deal, because it held up its’ end of the bargain. I did all those things and it left me the day they cut all that stuff out of my body. They did more than a lumpectomy on February 21st. As cancer and I were about to say good-bye that day, I could hear it speaking to me. Sounds crazy, but it wasn’t really. It said: “You’ve done the work and I know it wasn’t easy. I’m sorry to have had to come and visit you, but this journey is over. Remember the lessons, remember to love yourself, and finish up our deal: tell your lessons to everyone you can reach. I’m counting on you.”

Well, in a strange way, chemo may have healed my cancer, but my cancer healed me. It taught me more than I could imagined, and since then, I spread the word, I keep out as much drama and stress as I can, and I walk away from anyone or anything that tries to control and manipulate me. Cancer didn’t abuse me as much as some people have tried to, and I’m smarter because of all of it.

“Waking Up” is so much more than a book; it’s my heart and soul that simply wants to make a difference in someone’s life. Life get’s shorter as we get older, and my goal is to live everyday to the fullest, to show love and kindness to someone who needs it, and most importantly, to make someone laugh and smile.

Struggles will always happen in our lives, yet it’s your attitude and perspective that will handle it and teach you more than you could have ever imagined.  After all, “we don’t become who we are by chance; we become who we are by choice.”

Love your lessons, whether you like them or not, because in the end, miracles happen!

“Chemo healed the cancer but the cancer healed me.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

choice 1

“Podcast 1 – Getting To Know Me”

“Breaking Apart”

break apart 2We’ve all broken apart at one time or another in our lives. We may have endured a broken heart, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, or the brokenness of a good friend showing their true colors. Whatever the reason, it’s caused us to “break apart.”

I’ve had my heart broken, endured cancer, gone through divorce, and been hurt by people who I thought were my friends. I’ve been broken many times, yet through it all I learned that all these moments that “broke” me were all lessons I needed to learn. I learned to take the pain of each moment that broke me apart and make peace with it; I learned to be grateful for them because it taught me something about myself and my life that was for my Highest Good; I learned to see it as a blessing in disguise.

So what do you do when you break apart? How do you get through it all? You make a choice. You make a choice to put the pieces back together, and you put them back together stronger. It’s the lessons you learn through them that enable you to put them back differently; stronger, smarter and tougher.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll never “break apart” again, but what it does mean is that the next time you’re faced with a “breaking apart” moment, you’ll be able to handle it differently. You’ll handle it even better. And the time it takes to put the pieces back together get’s shorter and shorter…and that’s because you learned a lesson from each of those moments.

Life is all about perspective and if you can learn to embrace those “breaking apart” moments as a gift towards you having the life you deserve, then you will understand that those moments aren’t forever…just for the time it takes for you to understand the lesson.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“Someday”

someday-post

It took having breast cancer to realize just how precious and precarious life really is. I thought I valued every day of my life until I was diagnosed with something that stopped me in my tracks…cancer.  Suddenly, I valued every single minute of every single day. I began to realize just how lucky I was and things I took for granted were now becoming blessings to me.

When you’re going through chemo you have to be careful of chemical cleaners, people who are sick, including your own children, your pets, what you’re breathing, what you’re eating, what kinds of cancer causing chemicals are in your make-up, your shampoo, and the list goes on. I never thought I would miss the mundane things like spring cleaning, but I did. And one of the biggest things I missed was not being able to walk barefoot on the sand or put my toes in the water because if I got a cut it could be serious.

So you can see why I appreciate everything about my life, the good and the bad; it’s because I’ve learned that nothing should ever be taken for granted and that I’m blessed to have this life.

Cancer taught me those things, yet in the last year or two, and in the last several months, it’s all changed again. My family and I have been affected by the loss of loved ones and the diagnosis’ of life changing illnesses. It’s’ been quite a couple of months, yet we’re all here, together, weathering the good days and the bad ones together.

I never thought I could appreciate life or the lives of my loved ones more than I already did, but I’m here to tell you that I do. My life and theirs have become incredibly precious to me and I know first-hand that we never know about tomorrow…we only know about today.

There is no waiting for “someday,” because that’s never promised and I’ve realized that more than ever. I dislike when anyone says “I’ll do it someday, we’ll do it someday, maybe someday,” Actually, I hate to hear that, especially since I’ve lost  loved ones very close to me in the last few years that looked forward to “someday.” They never knew that on that last day of their life, their “someday” was gone.

I don’t wait for “someday” anymore, because there is no “someday, only today,” and today is a gift to me every morning that I wake up to see it. Every day is a gift to live my life to the fullest, love as hard as I can, and laugh at every chance I get.

Tomorrow is never promised and yesterday is already gone, so why wait for “someday” to come, when you can live every day of your life as if your “someday” is today?

Don’t miss out on something great because you’re waiting for something  better to come “someday;” don’t miss out on a lifetime of love because you’re waiting for the “right time for it someday;” don’t miss out on an adventure or an opportunity or a dream because you thought the best timing for it would be “someday.” There’s no time like the present, and that will be gone by tomorrow.

Don’t live your life waiting for “someday” to come; live your life as if someday is “today.”

And today, more than ever, I appreciate my life because today I am a

“3 year breast cancer survivor!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

*This is a song I wrote called “What Now.” I wrote the story on the last day of my treatment, wondering what come’s next after cancer. The story is in my book, “Waking Up,” which inspired me to write the song. It was about the end of my cancer, yet it can be for anyone who is changing their life and starting over. I hope you enjoy it! I have to say, it’s one of my favorites!

 

“3 Year Breast Cancer Survivor Today!”

 

bc-timeline-ad

I’m a 3 year breast cancer survivor today! It’s amazing how cancer changed my life, all for the good. I sit here in so much gratitude today for this day, and for every day. It’s a day I remember the first day of being diagnosed, and the last day of treatment; a day of remembering those who left my life during it and thinking of the ones who stayed; I’m remembering how little I lost from it and how much I gained.

I want to give my love and gratitude to my lifelong friend, Colleen, who was there with me during the first biopsy; to my cousin, Marnie, who made chemo days a fun “girl’s day out” and was there the entire day of my surgery, having dinner waiting for me when I got home; to my best friend, Leslie, who made the later chemo days ones of “girls gone wild” days, and for all those lunches together on the way home; to Jim and Lilli, my friends from Wall Stadium Speedway, for having pink ribbons printed with my name on it and getting them to the fans and on all the race cars; and to my Wall Stadium family for all their support during my chemo days. And to all of my Facebook family, I give you my love and gratitude for your supportive and loving posts and instant messages. You’ll never know just how much all of that meant, and was so important during my journey with breast cancer. I have to say “thank you” to my boys, Dan, Noah, and Sam who were living with me day in and day out through my journey…you were all so brave and supportive to me, even though I knew you were scared, but we got through it together.

The door to cancer closed three years ago, yet it opened the door to finding love with Rob, publishing my book, writing songs for my CD, and finding myself living some amazing dreams and adventures.  I’m so very grateful to be able to say “3 year survivor and counting!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“A Gift From My Mammogram”

 

love-your-life-back

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2013, began chemo in August, and had my lumpectomy in February of 2014. Everything came out great and I was “cancer free!” What happens next is a mammogram every 6 months. Yesterday was my 6 month mammogram, and after all was said and done, everything was fine. The best news of all is that I only have to go once a year now, just like everyone else who never had breast cancer. It’s a funny way to think about it and as I left the hospital today I felt relief.  I felt like this was a gift of feeling normal again because in the first time in three years I didn’t have to have a mammogram every 6 months…I was back to “once a year” like every one else.

It feels like a lifetime ago that I was diagnosed with breast cancer, yet the reality is that it was just three years ago. It’s funny how life can take all those memories of a journey and tuck them away, only to come out when needed. I thought when the cancer was gone, so would all the thoughts of it, yet I’ve used that “journey” to help other women battling the disease. I’ve made some amazing “soul sister” friends throughout my journey, and throughout theirs. I’ve been able to share my stories of faith and a strong, positive attitude. I’ve laughed with them over chemo stories and given them a safe shoulder to cry on when they needed to let it out.

I never want to have breast cancer again, yet if my having it meant I could write about it and help other women through it, then so be it. If I’ve helped one person through their journey, then my journey had value, and more importantly, a reason.

I’m grateful for the outcome of my mammogram and look forward to that same gratitude once a year. I want you to have the same, so please, get your mammogram. Get checked once a year because while you can’t prevent breast cancer, you can catch it early.

My life may not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me and today I sit in immense gratitude for the gifts that God has given me…and two healthy breasts are at the top of the list this week!

Love your life and let it love you back!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“Scenes From An Italian Deli”

“It’s time to make a difference, and we can make a difference together.”

~Anne Dennish~

I had a book signing today at my local Italian deli, Valente’s. It was a cold, rainy day, yet the owner and staff were wonderful to my love and I.

However, it wasn’t the amount of books sold that stuck with me today…it’s what happened as I was leaving, and I want to share this beautiful story with all of you.

There was a table of gentleman sitting across from me, and they were there for quite some time. They kept looking over and were probably wondering what this book was all about, yet they didn’t stop by to see me… until I was leaving.

This sweet gentleman came up to me and asked what the book was about. I told him it was about the lessons I’ve learned through my life and breast cancer. He smiled and told me he has a rare cancer, but was fortunate to be in an experimental trial which is keeping him alive. Others with this same cancer had passed long before him. Soon, his friend joined in the conversation, and we exchanged our stories of chemo, treatments, hospitals, side effects and survival!

I reached my hand out to formally introduce myself to him, and with that, he outstretched his arms and consumed me in a beautiful bear hug. He told me to keep writing, stay healthy, and survive. I told him the same. I couldn’t help but feel such a connection with another person battling cancer. He smiled as he said goodbye, and wished me well.

That stands out more in my mind than the books I signed today. My story made a difference, and his story made a difference to me.

Please remember to be kind, to take a moment to listen to someone who needs to talk, and share your “waking up” moments with others.

After all: “It’s time to make a difference, and we can make a difference together.”

And today, at an Italian deli, a difference was made.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Author of “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer”

Available at Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com

your move