“High Risk”

That’s what the cancer institute told me yesterday when they called to reschedule my six month check-up for this morning. They didn’t want anyone coming there unless it was for treatment. Yes, I’m six years clear of cancer but I also take a medication once a day which keeps it gone, and because chemo stays in your body for years and because of the medication I take, I’m high risk.

I asked them what I should do. They said to stay out of crowds and not to be anywhere with more than 15 people there.They said to wear a mask and to follow the protocol of hand washing and be careful to stay clear of crowds and sick people.

So, what does that mean to me? Am I scared? 

No.

I’m not scared.

Everyone has a different opinion on this virus and I respect them all, but my feeling is that the governments across the world are simply trying to prevent the virus from spreading to more people than those who already have it.

I don’t think we’ll all be living a different lifestyle forever, just for now. The focus is on COVID-19 but the same protocol goes for any virus or flu. Maybe it’s blown out of proportion, maybe it’s not, but it is what it is. All the lock downs and shutdowns of public events are for a reason: to prevent the virus from spreading.

I’m not scared, but am concerned. I’ll be taking my precautions as the oncologist has told me and will look at this as positively as I can. It’s a time to be home with my family, a time to write and declutter my home, and a time to reflect on the many things we take for granted that can now be appreciated.

I know that “this too shall pass” and until it does I’m going to make the best of it.

And I hope you will, too.

Be well, stay healthy, and wash your hands every chance you get!

And let’s keep each other in our thoughts and prayers.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

this_too_shall_pass_and

 

 

“Four Year Survivor Today!”

February certainly has been a month of new beginnings, adventure and milestones, but today I celebrate a day that I am incredibly grateful for: TODAY I AM A FOUR YEAR BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR!

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2013, underwent chemo and radiation and had a lumpectomy four years ago today, which is the day that ended the journey and the day I became “cancer-free!”

And I’ve been grateful for every day since then; I’m blessed with another day to live my dream and my passion of writing; another day to love the people I’m surrounded by; another day to live my life to the fullest; and another day to try and make a difference in someone’s life and the world.

I sit in much gratitude today for the blessing of being able to say I had breast cancer and survived it. 

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”

“What Now?”

“Journey is over, the battle is won.A new chapter starting, a new day begun,

So what do I do now? Where do I start?

Do I take the road known or the one less travelled

Follow my heart.

 

Life is always changing,it’s time to turn the page,

Now the story continues

And it’s mine to create

So what do I do now? Where do I go?

Do I let my mind lead me backwards in time or move ahead slow?

 

What now with new beginnings

What now with the old life behind

What now that I’m starting over

With no clue, no reason, no rhyme.

 

Time to change my thinking

It’s time to lose the fear

The Universe is watching

That’s what brought me here

It’s all an adventure, my life is a song,

I know where I’ve been, not where I’m going

But I’m dancing along.”

I remember the day I wrote the story, which became these lyrics, in my book called “Waking Up.” It was my very last day of treatment for breast cancer, and as I said my good-bye’s to the nurses and staff, I felt a multitude of emotions.

I got in my car and started the long drive home. I felt happy, excited, relieved and a bit scared. All I kept thinking is “now what?” Now what do I do with my life? I had been on a breast cancer journey for over a year and a half, and suddenly it was over. The Cancer Institute had bid me farewell and sent me on my way. What now?

I thought “I know what the last year and a half with cancer was like, but what would it be like without it? Where do I begin to start over without it?”

And so I wrote the entry “What Now” in my breast cancer journal and a year later wrote these song lyrics.

But you know, this song isn’t just for my breast cancer journey; it’s a song for anyone starting over with a new beginning. It’s for anyone who is starting a new life. It’s for someone who has to learn to say “good-bye” to their past in order for the doors to the future to open.

It’s a song for you and a song for me…doors-to-past

It’s scary when something ends and is over, yet you need to find the excitement in the possibility of something even better coming into your life. I can promise you it always does when it’s meant to. Have faith in the Universe and have faith in yourself!

Embrace your day, embrace your new beginning, embrace this life that you are in control of.

The choice is yours…

And I know you’ve got this!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Lyrics by Anne Dennish – Music and Vocals by Sutton Thomas Music copyright 2016

“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

“When Cancer Wakes You Up”

My new 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 last 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 experience, and there’s a few born out of situations with someone else that  I was involved with, 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 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. Love your lessons, whether you like them or not, because in the end, miracles happen!

“Just believe, just have faith, and all good things will fall into place.”

Enjoy the journey and allow yourself to “wake up,”

~Anne Dennish~

choice and chance

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

copyright 2016

Available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and Xlibris.com