“If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present” –Maya Angelou
Jill Pring was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2016. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a fitness enthusiast, a marathon runner, and an autism consultant.
“I was diagnosed in January of 2016…about a month after my 39th birthday. I went in for what was supposed to be a baseline mammogram (my first mammogram ever) and ended up leaving with a series of follow up appointments and procedures.”
“I can’t say I was overly surprised by the diagnosis…just sad. I have a very strong family history of cancer (all different types of cancer) and used to joke about “which one” I was going to get. I had a bilateral mastectomy, 6 rounds of chemotherapy and a year of Herceptin. I work in the public school system and was able to work throughout my treatment (with some restrictions) which I really think helped me maintain a routine and positive attitude throughout treatment.
My co-workers were so supportive which also helped me get through treatment. What I wasn’t prepared for was the life AFTER cancer. The fear of recurrence and survivor’s guilt hit me super hard. At first, I kept these feelings to myself…not telling anyone what I was going through. Finally, it was just getting too hard and my everyday life was getting harder and harder to get through.
I started seeing a therapist through my cancer center which was huge for me! She suggested starting a low dose antidepressant which I reluctantly did. It has made a world of difference and has really helped therapy work for me. I also started working out after finishing chemotherapy which has not only helped with my physical health but my mental health as well.
I hired a personal trainer and started running. I’m so much healthier than I was before cancer. I’ve even run half and full marathons…something I never ever thought I would be able to do…like ever! I’m happy to say that I am in a great place right now and life after cancer, while a struggle sometimes, is pretty darn good!”
Motivation to fight cancer
“I feel that my cancer journey has helped me find my purpose. It’s my purpose that kept me motivated and keeps me motivated.”
“I was definitely a hindrance. I’ve always been a private person and quite stubborn. I thought I was being strong and tough by going through cancer by myself. I went to chemo infusions by myself, went to all my appointments by myself. I didn’t accept much help from others…not even my husband. He and my friends/family have been amazingly patient through all of this.”
Message to other cancer patients
“My message to other cancer patients is to build up and use your support system. Don’t be afraid to ask for help…during and after treatment. You will come out of this experience a different person…embrace and accept the new you!! Find your purpose and put everything you have into fulfilling it!