2020 Reflection of a Breast Cancer Survivor

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, October 21, 2020
By Emy Fernandez, MBA, Life Coach

This is the only time of year I pause to reflect on my diagnosis 3 years ago – Invasive Ductal Carcinoma – or breast cancer.  The rest of the year I have the scars to remind me.

It’s the time I reflect on the losses and gains – the gains winning each time.

Collage of pics with cancer

The loss:

  • My left breast

The gains:

  • Appreciation for my Time.  Today, for me, Time is priceless.  I was given extra while others were not.  I have to make it count whether it’s family time, self-care time, business time – even Netflix time – it’s all valuable.
  • Appreciation for my Husband.  My life stopped while I was sick.  I only wanted to look out for me.  My Husband looked out for everything else.
  • Appreciation for my Sister.  She spent 6 months of her life taking me to chemo every week (OKKK – and shopping).  Best sister ever.
  • Appreciation for my Brother. He was in the background amusing and distracting my kids and grandson.
  • Appreciation for my In-laws.  My daughter, sister, and brother-in-law put their interests to the side so that my son, brother, and sister could be available for me.
  • Appreciation for my Kids. Now, more than ever, I want to be present with and for them.  I was given a gift – I won’t ever forget that.
  • Appreciation for my Grandson Jaden.  He was 10.  He was there and exposed to the experience. He calls me his Warrior. How wonderful that his Warrior is a woman.  What a lesson he learned.
  • Appreciation for my Grandson James.  He’s only 15 months.  He didn’t have the same experience as Jaden, but he does have the experience of a strong grandmother that takes care of him 3 days a week – who sits on the floor with him, runs around with him, and plays ball with him.  This is his experience.
  • Appreciation for my Girlfriends. I love my girlfriends and this girl can’t end her reflection without an honorable mention to her Girls.  You all know exactly who you are.  They kicked in during my sickness just when they needed to – breast cancer walks, weekends at the Keys, happy hours, meals, tennis, pilates.
  • Appreciation for my Clients.  I have a business I was able to accommodate to my illness.  I worked when I could and when I couldn’t – I rested.
  • Appreciation for my Doctors.  My doctors and their staff have all been excellent, patient, and caring.  I call them my “Dream Team.”  Without them – well…

2020 will be remembered as the year of the Pandemic.  How appropriate that my breast cancer reflection this year, a year of loss, was in appreciation of all my gains.

To all of you that have lost someone this year, regardless of the reason, KNOW that this breast cancer survivor – sees you and doesn’t take her losses lightly – by appreciating her gains.



“Don’t wait until tomorrow – to begin enjoying today.”
Emilia Luzarraga (my grandmother)