What I learned through my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In light of this, I thought I would share a personal story, and how among other things, it deepened my understanding of what our senior community needs – even further than I thought I already knew.

In 2018, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage II breast cancer. Suddenly, I was placed in a position like many in our senior community. I was facing a new, unknown, and very scary, journey. A new diagnosis. A new way of life.

I relate to our seniors’ situation

While I have always been a champion for our seniors, having breast cancer put me in the unique situation that so many seniors face. Suddenly it was happening to me. I was in a position of needing extensive care which I had never required before. I found out first hand what it is to be a patient and not be able to go about life as usual. I found out what it’s like to have a debilitating disease. It’s devastating.

I was so sick from months of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, that I needed assistance in my home in order to strive in my day to day living. From meals to hygiene to assistance with my medications, I just couldn’t do it alone.

I now know what it feels like when your independence is taken away. I know what it’s like to not be able to care for myself. I know what it’s like to not be able to care for my children. And I know what it’s like to have to depend on my husband, friends, and caregivers to come into my home and take care of me.

This experience offered many life-changing lessons, many of which I bring to Sunland now. Although I always wanted to offer our seniors the ability to have control over their lives, now I have lived it. Now more than ever, I want to see our seniors maintain as much independence as possible while remaining in the comfort of their own home in a safe and thriving environment.

I am forever grateful to my family and the caregivers who walked with me in my journey toward healing. I will never forget them, and I vow to bring the lessons I learned to the care we provide others.

Wishing you good health,
Traci

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