I was diagnosed with breast cancer on this day one year ago. It is officially my one-year “Cancerversary.” I remember a few days after I was diagnosed I was talking to a stranger about my diagnosis (because at that time I was telling everyone I came in contact with) and she said I was a survivor. And I corrected her. I told her I wasn’t a survivor yet. I told her the fight had just begun. She looked back at me and replied, “Oh no, honey. You are a survivor already!” I got to thinking about that in the days and weeks to come and I figured she was right. I was a survivor. I was already developing a superhuman-like skin that couldn’t be penetrated, and I thought to myself, “What makes someone a survivor?”


A survivor is anyone who has been made stronger because of the path they have had to walk down.

What makes us stronger?

We are stronger when we try for something regardless of the outcome.

We are stronger when we face each day knowing the fears we have and live alongside those fears while maintaining a level of peace.

We are stronger when we help someone, hold someone, empower someone.

We are stronger when we look back at where we have come from and look ahead knowing we will only move forward.

So take your steps carefully but confidently.

Say thank you for every breath you get to take and every smile you get to spread across someone’s face.

Spend time alone, but spend more time surrounded by those you love.

Never let anyone steal your happiness: not for one moment, not for one second, not for one breath.

Make friends with yourself. Love yourself to pieces!

Wait on what is worth waiting for…only you know what that is.

Look inside your heart when no one else is looking and ask yourself, “What do I want to do today?” And then make it happen.

Hand your love out freely because love is infinite, love is powerful, love is the only thing that makes sense today and will make sense again tomorrow.

Remember how magnificent and endless the world is and make sure you see as much of it as you can.

If there is someone you love and you haven’t told them how you feel, don’t waste another second, tell them.

Remember that you live in this world, but you don’t have to be of this world. You can be whatever you like.

Just be who you are, no excuses. That is the strongest you can be, that is the best you can be.

And we are the strongest of all when we wake up tomorrow and do it all again.

We are all survivors. 





18 thoughts on “Survivor

  1. Abby you have such a way with words – you are wise beyond your years and an inspiration to everyone you meet! Congratulations on your first anniversary – here’s to MANY, MANY MORE!!!

  2. I absolutely love this post!!! Such true and pure thoughts… I want to be a survivor each and every day!! I want you to know I love you very much. You have a special place in my heart always!!:) Happy Sabbath!!

  3. Abby,

    I am glad you are here today fighting and I can relate with you in your endeavors. I really cannot make sense of everything here on earth, but I believe that the trials we have overcome only makes us stronger. Why we are the “chosen” ones I do not know, but maybe someday we will. I was diagnosed on my birthday March 25, 2009. Why I was diagnosed at 34 years old and coming out of having a colonoscopy that day and told they found a 6″ tumor in my colon I do not know. However, the journey it has been and the numerous people I have been able to be a witness to remains. God speed to you and your family.

    -Erik Landing

  4. I am happy for your difficult but positive year. You most likely have become a stronger and better person for it. . . unfortunately the lessons were so very difficult. May you have many, many more years. It is lovely to see your hair. :-).
    I don’t expect we’ll meet again on this earth; but I look forward to meeting you again in Heaven.

    Also, if you ever have a desire to write. . . I truly encourage you. You have a gift.

    Linda Bruce

  5. I wish the reasons you have been writing were for something more positive, but you have turned something very hard into something positive. Thank you for keeping us informed of your year. I’ve liked hearing from you and about you. Now take what God has given you and make it the best year ever…live for Him to the fullest. I know you will. Love you and by the way I think your short hairdo is adorable. Love, Cindy Solis

  6. I am so glad you are here for the first of your many “cancerversaries”. Your posts always make the road smoother for me, and I love how you are embracing life and moving forward!! From one Strong Woman to another, with continued prayers to the One who promises “….My strength is sufficient for you…”,

  7. Abby, you have such a beautiful perspective on life and such a gift in expressing your thoughts! Thank you for sharing your journey and inspiring others. Congratulations, happy cancerversary, keep writing, and God bless you!

  8. Congratulations Abby, you have survived a tough year, and also have made a beautiful & positive impact on many of your family, friends, and breast cancer sisters.
    Love to you and your co-survivors! Debbie Morris

  9. Abby,
    I was unaware of your diagnosis and story of “being a survivor” until today when I read a comment concerning it, which was just posted on Facebook by your dad, whom I know as a member of our church, and have come to highly respect. I appreciate your thoughts, expressed so eloquently, on “what makes us stronger”. Yes, we all are traveling on a path that requires each of us to become and remain stronger due to the unique struggles we all have, and we have a constant Understanding Companion traveling the path with us moment by moment to assure our strenght until that day when we joyously see Him face-to-face. Face to face with Christ our Saviour, oh what a joy that will be!

    Thank you for expressing and sharing your thoughts that remind us of what IS important to each of us as we live in this broken world where, living in love, we can nevertheless see and experience so much beauty.

    God bless,

    James Casson

  10. Abby, thank you for your positive, upbeat posts during this incredibly hard year for you and your family. You have faced it with grace and strength. My prayers are still with you and I’m sending lots of hugs your way.
    ( I went to school with your mom in high school and college)

  11. God is Awesome!! Abby, I praise Him and thank Him for the “survivor” that you are. “With God, all things are possible.”
    I love you pretty lady.

  12. Abby,
    You are such a wonderful writer! I share your thoughts with people I love and care about. You inspire others as well as myself. I remember your bubbly personality from our days together at the FACTORY. I am so happy for you today and so thankful that I know you. Thank you.
    Betty G. 🙂

  13. So well said, Abbey! Congratulations on reaching this point in your journey. You are an inspiration to many, and we should all live by your wise words.

    I wish for you a life full of love, laughter and peace.

    Vicki Feit

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