Kristina Schermer

Just weeks before my 27th birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine MRI. I was BRCA 2 positive and was simply being monitored closely. Being well aware of my family history I thought it would be best to be cautious. I could have never suspected that the very first MRI would reveal that I already had breast cancer in my left breast. Shortly after being diagnosed, I underwent a double mastectomy, egg fertilization, four rounds of chemotherapy and reconstruction. While the journey I would never wish on anyone has been something I have not only come to honor but being incredibly humbled that I was given breast cancer so young. The way my heart has softened, my perspective on the world and people I would not trade for a second. I would tell anyone it is the most beautiful heartbreaking journey you will ever go through. I just celebrated being one year cancer free on March 19, 2016.

Somehow this chapter of my life I was seeing as merely a singular chapter, a place in time that is and will get to be put on a shelf someday. I had compartmentalized this time and made it something that is almost removed from life itself. Almost as though I feel like my life was put on hold, and someday soon I hope to get to press play on it again. I soon decided that I didn’t want to see it that way. I don’t want to think of this time as something that was not living, because I am living now. I am very much alive.

I think that if I continue to see this time as a “pause” in my life I am robbing it of what it has been. What it has done. What I have learned. So often I am caught waiting to live until circumstances in my life fall into place. But rather I think that everything we do, everything we have, everything we feel and experience is the life we are given today.