My name is Amy C. Smith. On October 1, 2013, I received a medical diagnosis that changed my life forever: stage one breast cancer, with a genetic cause, BRCA2. This means not only have both of my breasts been surgically removed (bilateral mastectomy), but I am now Vegan. No, I’m not talking about my diet…I mean my ovaries were evicted, too. That’s right: I’m dairy-free at 38 and commiserating with 60 year olds about hot flashes, hormonal mood swings, and sexual dysfunction. I have an elevated risk of developing other types of cancers as well, so a complete lifestyle overhaul has been taking place and continues to evolve.
None of this makes me any more qualified than the next woman to offer opinions on family, society, cancer, relationships, writing, or anything else I post. But since my stint as “cancer mom” garners some sympathy and an opportunity to develop a platform, here’s my site. I know I can’t play that card forever. This is my shot at being heard.
I’ve been married since 2002 and have four young children, but cancer wasn’t a devastating diagnosis. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by a dedicated group of family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers who have supported me along the way. The best medicine through multiple surgeries, medical treatments, alternative therapies, and harsh realities has been laughter. Maybe you will find a little bit of wisdom or encouragement by reading my posts, but probably not. The only thing I’ve learned to do better is to freely laugh at myself (and to wash fresh produce really, really well before making a salad). But maybe you will read something here that will empower you to take control of your own health, or advocate for a friend in need, or lighten up some about whatever is weighing you down. Maybe you will find a good, cleansing laugh, or, at the very least, a smile. My plan is to celebrate the life I’m fortunate enough to have while laughing at my failures. Laugh with me or at me, it doesn’t matter. My wish is that you find comfort and strength in the powers of humility and humor.