W is for Walt Whitman and Words to Live By


Three years ago today, when I wrote Breast Cancer Survivor: A Label or a Badge of Honor?  I resolved that I would continue walking  the Komen 3-Day events for those people that I saw as having been taken from me by cancer.

“But victor it is not, for as long as I have breath, I will stand and face it head on, fighting back for those it has taken from me,”  I said.

I considered myself “one of the lucky ones.” I lived through an early diagnosis of breast cancer and took aggressive measures to prevent ever receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer again.

Shockingly, two years after writing that piece, I found myself facing another diagnosis–stage IV carcinoid cancer.

I still consider myself  “one of the lucky ones.”

Although serious, this is a slow-growing cancer, which I likely have been living with for more than 20 years. But had I known then what I was living with all along (and so many others are living with undiagnosed), I might have taken a much different approach to how to live life.

This picture was taken just three days before I had my mastectomy.
Three days before I had my mastectomy in October 2007.

If there were no other words that I could share as advice on how to live, I still think that Walt Whitman said it best:

“Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing.  Strong and content, I travel the open road.” (From “Song of the Open Road” (Leaves of Grass).

My hope for you is that you truly live life.  Live as if you knew that you had only one year left.

There is not a “perfect time.” Don’t wait until things are “better.”  You may find that perfect and better simply do not exist.

Enjoy the simple moments.  Find others who will laugh with you.  And if you find someone with whom you truly share connection, then share it.

Postpone no more.


Note:  To learn more about Carcinoid Cancer, its symptoms and treatments, and what you can do to help bring about awareness, please visit these two websites and then get involved!

The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation

Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network


3 thoughts on “W is for Walt Whitman and Words to Live By

  1. Pingback: I Am a Survivor! | Beyond Life's Challenges

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