I am a three-time cancer survivor. Through it all, I was seeking a way to explain and redefine my experiences so that I could breathe and move forward with some sense of reason. Having progressed through the cycles of shock, fear, loss, growth, life and enlightenment, I now faced another challenge — separating from my husband of 27 years.

Life is a series of resets and I can either see myself as a victim or I can choose to reframe, redefine and move forward.

I reset everything. While I still view the cancers and separation as apart of my personal history, it does not define my life. Cancer forced me to examine my existence. I faced my weaknesses and fought to keep the best parts of myself. I had to find my center and learn to love every piece of myself, even the body that betrayed me. My doctors gave me another chance at life, so I wanted to make it a life worth living.

Cancer became my teacher. In escaping the cancer, I went deeper into myself to mine the lessons life was giving me. I learned that we can’t control the things that happen to us, we can only control how we respond. I dove in deep. Yoga, juicing, daily workouts. I read everything I could get my hands on. I created rituals, daily practices and became present, aware of my mind, body, spirit and connections to others. I created a support network based on the emerging me, my growth and the challenges I was facing.

One of the most powerful things I did was give back because giving back has a healing effect all its own. I became an advocate for cancer patients, joining the Board of a National Breast Cancer Organization.

This journey has ultimately led me to my purpose — becoming a life coach. I want to help women facing challenges, whether it’s sickness, divorce or work/life balance. I have learned how to live a life worth living and that no matter what happens, I’ll accept and make conscious choices. I share this with others.

I now have a cancer legacy. I am resilient with absolute knowledge that life is not going to be fair. But also understand that we are never too old or too sick to find our center. I actively appreciate life and am retooled with the coping skills of a warrior. I am tenacious and focused on living a passion-driven purpose-filled life where giving back is key.