In November 1999, at the age of 27, I was given the diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Hearing, the three words, “You Have Cancer” would halt my life as I knew it, dead in its tracks. Until then the hardest thing in my life was living with my then boyfriend (now husband) and being a first time mom to my future step-kids (5 & 6)who had just moved in with them shortly before. Now I was in for the fight of my life. The kids had to go back to live with their mother. During my first and second rounds of inpatient chemotherapy my boyfriend (Brian) and I gave up our apartment moved in with my parents. So, we wouldn't have added stresses of taking care of a home. Luckily, I had a wonderful support system around me. After two rounds of Chemotherapy, I was in remission and released to go home again. Unfortunately, and not only was the cancer wreaking havoc on my body but so was the lifesaving treatments. After going through weeks of physical rehabilitation I was able to walk down the aisle and marry my best friend, believing that the nightmare of the last few years was finally over …..
But little did we know in December of 2000, at a regular clinic visit, I found out I had relapsed and so the nightmare continued. After three more rounds of chemotherapy, in July of 2001 I had a Matched Unrelated Donor Bone Marrow Transplant. I have been 100% Cancer Free ever since. However, the years of being so sick took a toll on me. Bone issues have led to replacements of both my hips, and limitations to the range of motion in both my arms. Reactions from the chemotherapy used have caused cognitive issues and problems with my speech and fine motor skills. Life as I once knew it was never going to be the same again. There would be many, many months of physical rehabilitation and cognitive and memory testing in my future, as well as adapting to my new limitations. These limitations have led me to be on disability and unable to go the “normal” route of life let alone holding down a full time position.
Adapting and attempting to have a life that was what I thought was “normal” or what someone my age should be in life once again my step-children moved back in. Now being teenagers, they were a lot more independent and I once again found myself searching for something to fill the void that my Cancer journey had caused. I just had to figure out my new “normal” and my place in this world, something beyond wife and step-mom. I love those things they just were not enough, I have a brain it just didn’t work like it used to.
Instead of letting my circumstances in life prove to cause a “Why Me?” kind of life, or allow the emotional and finical stresses determine my life’s path in a negative way, I (with the help of my husband) decided to make my dark cloud have a Silver Lining. Always wanting to run our own business my husband and I started working together with my counselor, at The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, to come up with a plan for me to do just that. It was through this hard work that creation of “Silver Lining Reflections” was born.
A home based business that not only combines my years of education, skills and journey through cancer but allows me to become a “working cancer free business woman”. Silver Lining Reflections will be a business that is successful both money wise but more importantly as a way of helping others preserve the memories in their lives. A business that will create a multimedia expression of those special moments in your life. Through the use of modern technology we can produce photo slide shows that can be personalized and shared with others. You provide the pictures, we create the slide show. These pictures can be provided in digital form or for a small fee we can scan photographs. (Basic editing provided for free – cropping, red eye removal, color enhancement).
For more information please visit the website http://www.silverliningreflections.com or call us at 1-800-538-3909 and leave your address and we will mail out more information to you.