Meet Liz: (in her own words)
“I could tell you the horrible details of how I was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer, the 200 hospitalizations and 40 surgeries that followed. But, I am so much more than that. Cancer gave me a very important gift. Before my diagnosis, I wasn’t aware that I had the ability to be happy, joyful, appreciative and loving no matter what the conditions were surrounding me. It is only now that I am thankful for the contrast of the struggle I went through. Because when you are diagnosed with a life -threatening disease you really don’t have any choice other than giving up control.
Now, how I feel emotionally is the only thing that matters to me. I still may find myself in an uncomfortable situation but I have the option to feel good, to focus on the one good thing out of a hundred bad things. If I try, I can always find a better feeling thought. If I’m having a difficult day, I’ve trained myself to focus on anything other than my pain. Right now, it’s the beauty of the golden and plum colored wet leaves that are covering my yard.
©Amy Boyle Photography 2018
Sometimes, people ask me what I learned from having cancer. I’m here to tell you it’s nothing earth shattering, it’s everyday life things that changed for me. I no longer say “I should have”, because I can’t make a wrong choice. Everything is alright. I used to let others bother me or feel upset about something someone would say. Now, I don’t let others take me away from my own happiness. Do what you want, chill out, have more fun, go easy on yourself. Love yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Forgive and forget.
Life is meant to be fun. All the things that seemed so important or serious before cancer seem so silly now. So, use the good China, drink the better wine, use the plush guest towels, have the second piece of cake, see your friends more often, eat mac and cheese for lunch and dinner, play with your pets more, listen to music all day, do nothing all day, stay in bed late, wear the expensive earrings to go grocery shopping, binge watch TV, change your career, smile more, do whatever it is that makes you happy. Know your value. You can’t get the journey wrong. It is a game, and you are the piece that moves around in it. Choose to focus your steps on feeling good and see where your life will take you!”
*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Liz. This year for my birthday , I am embarking on a weekly photo essay project highlighting 52 Phenomenal Women. This is week 9 of 52. Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!***