Finding My YES!
From birth, I have been spending my life in search of YES! in a sea of NOs.
I was born with a Congenital Heart Defect, one so damaging that the technology to treat it had only been invented a decade earlier.
Fortunately, I was born with a strong fighting spirit that enabled me to persevere through all the obstacles that came my way.
Even when I had my first open-heart surgery at two years old.
Even when I was diagnosed with Endocarditis soon after my father’s death.
Even when I needed to get a pacemaker and had a second open-heart surgery.
I chose to see myself as healthy, and lived a life just like my sister and friends who did not have any health concerns at all.
The second open-heart surgery did not go as planned and, after three years of managing to live the life of a “normal” high school student, I found out that I would need a heart transplant.
Hearing the words, “You need a Heart Transplant” at that time felt EXTREMELY TERRIFYING!
I could barely process the information. But after a quick pity party, I decided that I was going to FIND MY YES! by NOT allowing my fear to cripple me.
I adopted the mindset of a healthy person and I lived accordingly.
I kept all of my friendships going with frequent phone calls, and having my friends visit me at the hospital when I couldn’t go to parties.
I was determined to have as typical of a high school experience as possible, which included going to parties, concerts, my junior prom, the shore for Memorial Day Weekend, and sleep away camp in the summers.
This allowed me to create friendships where my heart condition felt like a non-issue.
This allowed me to engage in activities where I could feel part of and not on the sidelines.
This allowed me to create a life instead of merely surviving a diagnosis.
Discovering how to FIND MY YES! has empowered me to find ways to take charge of my life and circumstances by becoming my own advocate and speaking up for myself, shifting my mindset and attitude, using resiliency skills including problem solving and coping strategies to create my YES!, and to live fully through all the colors of my life!
And my life is EXTREMELY COLORFUL!
I went away to college and experienced incredible self-exploration and growth.
I went to graduate school and earned a Master’s degree, which fostered my independence and professionalism as I created a successful career.
I met and fell in love with my soul partner.
Even though I was living my YES! FILLED LIFE, I still experienced some NOs.
I have been diagnosed and successfully treated for PTLD Lymphoma three times and PTLD Plasmacytoma three times. I used the same models and resources to FIND MY YES! as I have for my whole life.
I am now a six-time cancer survivor of Post Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder (PTLD).
Today, living my YES! Filled Life includes going to concerts and fun filled activities, being in nature, living in a city that I love, discovering new places, surrounding myself with loving and genuine family and friends, having a passion-filled career, and being very conscious of the choices I make and how they impact my life. I have traveled across the world and have seen amazing things. Most recently, I had a Celebration Of Love and Life to celebrate 20 years of having my transplanted heart and getting married to the love of my life.