Friday, December 3, 2010

i'm better for it friday

Welcome everyone to the FIRST 
in my 6 week series
of "IM BETTER FOR IT" stories as told 
by YOU...
my fellow friend bloggers.

is sharing her beautiful, inspiring story.
Thank you so much Cathy for your courage
in sharing with is her story, 
in her words.

As a little girl I often dreamed about what my life 
would be like when I grew up.   
As a teenager I started to dream about my wedding and who I would marry.  
I had my dress all picked out and knew the color of my bridesmaids dresses 
all before I ever had a boyfriend.  Then at 15 I met Paul.  
The day we met I knew I would marry him someday.   
That day came 8 years and many breakups later.  
We married on October 31st of 1992.  It was my fairytale.
Then less than 2 years later on labor day in 1994  
my whole life was turned upside down when Paul and his younger brother 
were killed in a car accident.  
Paul was 26 and his brother just 18.  
Losing him was the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life.  
Even harder than cancer that  would come knocking 7 years later.  
So at 25 I was a widow. 
 I remember telling my grandma when I lost Paul that 
I got all of the bad stuff out of the way early in life 
thinking I would be immune to anything bad happening again.
Just as I was getting my life back together at 31 I found a lump in my breast.  
I thought it had to be a joke. I was so angry. 
 I was still angry at Paul for leaving me.  
I resented being alone especially going through my cancer treatment.  
My family was so broken by that point I relied on a few friends to help me through.   
I lost a year of my life to cancer.  
I had a mastectomy, 6 months of aggressive chemotherapy, and reconstruction.  
Somehow I continued to date through it all.  
I think being faced with the fear of dying 
forced me to keep moving forward with living.   
 Around the time of my last chemo treatment 
I met a man online who had just lost his mom to breast cancer a month prior.  
I had finally met someone who could see 
past my scars and the bald head to who I really was. 

Six months later we were engaged and this past 
May 31st we celebrated our 7 wedding anniversary on the same day 
I celebrated 9 years as a cancer survivor. 
My cancer experience also gave me the strength 
to  pursue a dream of mine.  
I had always wanted to be a writer but never had the confidence.  
I knew I had a story to tell that could inspire so many people.  
I could use my gift to give back.  
I took pen to paper and started writing about my cancer experience.  
My first book “Breastless in the City” was  published a dream of mine was realized. 
Most recently I discovered a love of art.  
This year I picked up paintbrush for the first time since I was a little girl 
and I haven’t put it down yet!  
I have discovered how much I love to paint and draw.  
It was something I always wanted to do but I let life get in the way.   
Through my creativity I realized that it helps me 
cope with the anxiety I live with as a cancer survivor.  
In those moments with my camera, or paintbrush I loose myself, 
all of the internal chatter quiets down and I am more calm.  
It brings me into the moment. 
Having gone through so much at such a young age 
made me appreciate life a lot more.  
I believe that everything I went through was for a reason.  
All of it has taught me something about myself and made me stronger.   
I learned to grow from the challenges I have faced.  
I can truly say I am better for having gone through it all.  
Even the anger and tears have helped me to heal. 
Although the pain of loss will always be with me 
I have realized that there is always room in my heart for love . . .

Thank you so much Cathy for 
YOUR story.  
You can visit Cathy
right HERE and
see some of her 
wonderful creations!


"may we all continue to be "better for it"!
(and if you want to send in your story...please email me at


  1. Cathy has lived what I like to call a "Brave Girl's Life"! Every new situation that called for bravery was met with head on determination!! How wonderful to get to know her for more than the fantastic painter that she is. Thank you for sharing her with us! :-)

  2., Cathy!!!!

    I didn't know just how much pain you have experienced and with such bravery too. My hat's off to you, Cathy!

  3. so love cathy's story! i was lucky enough to get a signed copy of her book as a gift and i suggest anyone who can, go out and purchase one! her story is amazing and it will make you cherish each day you have your loved ones around you and your health.

    cathy, you are such an inspiration!

  4. cathy!! i am so moved by your story
    & your blossoms continually
    out of the ashes!
    such a great illustration of how
    we need to wrestle with our pain
    until we find the gold nuggets
    within our stories!
    looooooooove to all your gold!!

  5. i'm wowed by what you've overcome, cathy. this story about your strength is just beautiful, and so are you!

  6. So happy that love and health have come to Cathy! Thanks so much for sharing your story!!

  7. What a beautiful story - I'm glad you've come through everything stronger than ever and having a special love in your life ♥

  8. Wow, what a brave girl she is! I admire her courage and strength so much. I'm glad she's in a great place right now loving and living her dream!
    Thanks for the inspiration darling!

    PS: I’m having a lovely Giveaway on my blog, you’re more than welcome to participate here: Boho Market Giveaway

  9. Cathy your story is so completely powerful. I am better for just having read it. And Kolleen - I am in love with this series. keep em coming mama!

  10. Ohhhh Cathy! What inspirational story!
    Kolleen I am glad I found your blog. Thank you both.

  11. Hi everyone! Thank you all for your lovely comments on my story!! It makes my heart so happy to know that I have been an inspiration!! xo

  12. Cathy you are an inspiration. I'm so happy that love has carried you through. God bless you. Thank you so much for sharing. I wish you so so many moments of happiness in your future. Love, Kelly


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