No one wants to hear “breast cancer” during a doctor’s appointment. But thousands do every year; in fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, one in every eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis this year.
Billions of dollars in research, along with national campaigns to raise awareness, have proven successful in combating the disease in recent years. A breast cancer diagnosis is no longer the death sentence that it used to be. The American Cancer Society states that because of early detection and advances in medical treatments, there are over 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone.
One of those amazing survival stories is that of Tina Pruitt, a mom, inspirational speaker, entrepreneur and three-time survivor of breast cancer. Tina’s first diagnosis came in 2007, when her only son was nearly four years old, and at the time she remembered thinking, “If I wasn’t around, what would I want my son to remember about me?” Tina then decided to make the best of her diagnoses and remain positive.
“I decided to change the things that I could control,” said Tina, who firmly believes that there are so many things that we can’t control in our lives. “You have the ability to change what’s in your mind, body and heart. Remove any toxic relationships and negative self-talk.” She also mentioned that her healthy diet has played a huge part in her life, both pre- and post-cancer.
Tina added laughter and happiness to each day, changing all of the things in her life that she could. She called those things “upgrades.” She moved from the tenth tee in her exclusive country club home to a smaller home closer to the city, making her commute to work shorter. Yoga became a regular ritual at least three times a week, and she immersed herself in her son’s life even further. Tina eventually took an early retirement from her job with the government, so that she could become an entrepreneur and do more of what she loved in her free time. She was experiencing more joy in her life than ever before.
Her choice to remain positive in her journey, which included two more recurrences of the disease in 2009 and 2011, has served her well. Her doctors have noted that her healthy lifestyle has contributed to her positive outcome—many are not so lucky.
Even if you don’t have a cancer diagnoses, what can you do to upgrade your life now? Are there relationships that are no longer serving you? Could your diet use an overhaul? Are you living your happiest life every day?
Amy Wright is a business nerd who rocks out to '80s music, loves the color purple (not the movie, but the actual color) and her lovely family. In her free time... wait... she has no free time, but if she did, she'd like to hang out in bookstores sipping on hot chocolate in complete silence.