Survivor Sanctuary Survivor Stories
Patricia San Pedro
I’m Patricia San Pedro, Author, Public Speaker, and breast cancer survivor. Though unique in our personal stories, breast cancer survivors have walked similar paths, celebrated similar successes, and encountered similar challenges. What we do have in common stacks higher than what we don’t, and just from that knowing, we are strengthened and empowered.
On April 10th, 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis shook my foundation and brought nearly all external life-processes to a screeching halt. In the moments after hearing the diagnosis, I was reminded that I had the power to choose my attitude for how I would handle the situation.
My instinct was to react as I usually do…seeing the glass as half full. I tend to look for a silver lining, even in difficult situations. But this, THIS was a test of a lifetime for an eternal optimist. I have faith that everything happens as it does for a reason, whether brought about by divine design, or by human manifestation. From that perspective, I chose to lean into this difficult situation and learn what I was supposed to learn.
We all know that we have only so much control over the events that take place in our lives. But what we DO have control over is how we respond to those events. It’s like a switch in our heads we can choose to flip, to wallow in woe-is-me despair, or take the lemons and make triple layer lemon meringue pie. It’s ok to feel grief, fear and sadness. Experience it fully and learn the lessons. Use them as a guide post, not a hitching post.
Cancer has gone from being a dreaded enemy to a catalyst for my own growth…a conduit through which to pass from one level of awareness to another. As its temporary host, I am learning the lessons and welcoming the wisdom it offers. It served its purpose and now I bid it farewell.
My friends and family have carried me on their wings since day one of this journey. They’ve been with me all the way through; cooking for me during chemo, taking care of my pets, driving me to all my appointments, taking notes for me at the doctor’s office, and sleeping with me at night when I wasn’t feeling at my best.
True girlfriends are among the most precious of God’s blessings. How do you begin to express gratitude for such enormous love and support? I begin by being very grateful and by doing what I can to pay it forward. I love helping the newly diagnosed as they embark on their own healing journey.
My hope is that we can all carry this care and compassion into the world…and maybe together we can help each other heal and thrive in ways that we expect to, and in some that we don’t, through our words, our intent, our love, our commonality, and our caring. And just maybe if we continue to take this amazing sense of compassion and purpose into the world, the legacy we leave will be generations that need not be concerned about breast cancer as it will be a thing of the past.
In love and light,
Patricia San Pedro