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August 15, 2015

Stage IV by Brit O.

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When I was seventeen a psychic told me that my life would change drastically at the age of twenty-seven. Something so earth shattering would rock me to my core, catapulting my life in a new direction and even becoming an advocate for the said event. Of course with any psychic, you must take their message with a grain of salt. However, this little piece of information would indeed enter my life at the ripe age of twenty-seven, leaving me with a fresh outlook on life and what it had to offer.

Cutting to the chase, an introduction seems best fitting. My name is Britt, I am now twenty-nine years old, and I enjoy the simple things life has to offer; the sun rising each morning and the glorious sunset each evening. I’m married to my very best friend; we have a bulldog named Keg, and take pride in being home bodies in our downtown dwelling, while watching obscene amounts of Netflix. Our lives have slowed down for the better over the last twenty-four months when I was diagnosed at the age of twenty-seven with Stage IV Colon Cancer.

The life I led pre-ill-matic was fast paced and go-go-go. My mornings were early and my nights were late. It seemed that when I was diagnosed, I had it all and then lost it all in one fell swoop. However, with a lot of soul searching over the last two years, I realize now that getting the “Big C” was remarkably the best thing to happen to me. Admittedly, that sounds odd but let me explain a little.

The beginning was a bit rough. I was dazed and confused, wondering why me? Cancer? How could I possibly cope? The idea of chemotherapy, infertility, and scan after scan while entering the cancer world seemed daunting, and it was. There was an initial shock that seemed to last awhile as I just couldn’t wrap my head around why this was happening to me. There was a lot to lose. I had to resign from my cushy corporate job where I worked from home and traveled, along with a large part of my social life, even losing some friends and family along the way. Most of all in the beginning I was lost and desperately searching for my purpose in the big, wide world, which was now the world of cancer and I was the young cancer patient.

One night in the early days of my diagnosis I was in the hospital for various reasons relating to my illness and was unable to sleep as I was pondering how I could turn my illness into something positive, perhaps even something that would bring awareness to having cancer at such a young age. As I jolted out of the hospital bed and into a chair, I opened up my computer and began writing the night away; to which my blog Be Still My Heart Blog was born. Suddenly, I had so much to say and as the words poured out, I became more and more at peace with my new life and decided to march forward making something out of this devastation.

It wasn’t long before people started reading my deepest and most intimate thoughts, discussing everything from my journey with cancer, Invitro-fertilization, thoughts of suicide, treatment and so much more. Before I knew it my little corner of the Internet began to get recognition and soon enough I had ten thousand followers, then twenty and now about thirty-five thousand. It didn’t take long for the phone to start ringing before I was getting offers from magazines to be a contributor or my

followers reaching out to share their stories with me. My heart was full of happiness and it felt like I was finally understanding “why” this was all happening.

Having cancer has allowed me the freedom to do the things I love to do, which is anything in the creative realm. Yet, being ill can be a full time job in itself. Since my diagnosis in 2013, I have been on chemo, every other week, for 76 hours straight each time. It certainly does a number on my body and in my weak moments it can do a number on my mind. The goal is to stay positive and remember why I am on this journey.

Just a few months ago, I returned home from a month long trip to the UK. It was an amazing feeling to receive a break from chemo, after begging my Doctor for a break. There is a certain romance to traveling, as I was able to forget for a brief period of time that I am sick. For a month I was able to get back to being just me, but a week after my return I was faced once again with reality as my treatment started back up. The trip provided me with some inspiration as to what I want to do with my time and my future. My blog has proved to be a pleasant surprise in success and I am ready for the next venture, while still continuing my writing on Be Still My Heart Blog.

Upon my return I received a phone call from an entertainment company, wanting to pursue a documentary for the CW about life with cancer. With each step taken and exposure, the “awareness” factor of the psychic’s prediction is becoming more and more real. Opportunities have been opening up, to which I am very thankful for as my new mission in life is to advocate for cancer and all those affected by it. Cancer can be a very lonely place, but it’s important to know that you are not alone.

I am also in the process of writing a book, along with launching my own box company (further details to be revealed on my blog). Needless to say, life hasn’t turned out so badly after all. I’m able to do my dream job in writing, I have a wonderful support system and now the gift of realizing what is and isn’t important in this thing called life. After all, it’s not the amount of years we live, but the life we lead within those years. It’s my mission to make these years count, regardless of how many I have left. Cancer has nothing on me and the future holds a great deal of promise. Just remember that when life gets a little messy, find a way to see the beauty and make it your own; grow like the wildflower you are, despite the cement surrounding you.

Follow: www.BeStillMyHeartBlog.wordpress.com

Insta: @bestillmyheartblog

4 thoughts on “Stage IV by Brit O.

  1. My congratulations to you for seeing the life for what it is. A few moments gifted to each of us to do what we can for others. Not everyone does. You do which makes you pretty damn special.

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