My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in grade school. She went through the usual treatments and it eventually went to Stage 4 metastatic. So, I spent most of my youth with a terminally ill mother. I didn’t know a lot because information like that was not generally shared with children back then. Fast forward to present day – my daughter is around the same age I was then and dealing with my own breast cancer diagnosis. I underwent many of the same treatments as my mother but shared everything with my daughter. Eventually, I chose to stop Western treatments due to the side effects I refused to live with. I’m committed to an even more intensely holistic lifestyle than I’d previously been living. As a kid, I’d made a promise to myself that I would do all of the natural things I could do that would prevent cancer in my adult life. But clearly, I needed to up my game. At the time of my diagnosis, I’d been married one month and had played my first gig with Gloria Gaynor a month before our wedding. So, I had these wonderful new positive events that were immediately followed by the crushing news. My husband, daughter, and I all agreed to engage in major lifestyle enhancements since we were already doing many of the “right” things. It’s now been 5 years and while I’m not considered in remission, I’m living life to the fullest. With the addition of lymphedema to my medical issues (due to surgery and radiation), I’ve had to modify my trumpet and now wear compression gear during my waking hours (special thanks to Lymphedivas for making them at least look cool!) I still travel the world with Gloria and the gang and so far, I’m doing much more than simply surviving. In addition to making music and loving my little family, I’ve been very proactive in the Cancer and Lymphedema communities. Life is meant to be lived!
“You’ve got to do your best!”-Eddie Pazant
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