The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

6 Words That Changed My Life

6 Words That Changed My Life

I was raised as a completely non-religious person. I never learned to meditate, didn’t think much of the mind-body-spirit stuff because I couldn’t wrap my head around the ‘spirit’ part.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44. I didn’t know a single living soul with cancer, and folks seemed to go out of their way to tell me about their next door neighbor’s cousin “but she died”, or their co-worker’s sister’s friend – “but she died”. So I had NO doubt that I would die – especially because I met with a surgeon on Thursday and was told they had an opening on Monday. I interpreted that to mean I was doomed.

I spent Friday at work, Saturday in bed, wrapped in my husband’s arms assuring him all would be well (while in my own head I uttered a continuous “uh oh, uh oh”. On Sunday we did chores, took a walk and sort of behaved normally.

That night a woman called. She said: “I am a 10-year survivor”. Just like that I KNEW I could survive. If she could, I knew I could.

Over the days to follow I repeated her words to me. And added to that wonderful feeling was the words I vaguely heard as I awoke from surgery. Some wonderful woman, I know not who, said: “You had a lumpectomy but now you are FINE”.

I truly believe those two women whose identities are lost to me, saved my life. Even now when I tell my tale to audiences, as the founder of nonprofit Annie Appleseed Project, I still feel the power. I am alive 21+ years later, in part because two people were so KIND to me when I needed it most. We must all remember the power in our words and use them wisely and well.

Author: Ann Fonfa


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Ann Fonfa

About Ann Fonfa

Ann Fonfa was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993. She refused chemo, radiation and hormonal treatment. She sought alternative treatments, then founded Annie Appleseed Project to share the information. She travels, speaks up/out to help others.

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  • Carol Graham

    Thank you for sharing and I totally relate. I, too, am a cancer survivor and recently released my memoir, Battered Hope. Like you, I travel as a motivational speaker and share that there is always hope. I am so happy for you that someone took the time to give you hope when you needed it the most.

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