Joanne Greenbaum

My journey began with a routine mammogram. My journey of enlightenment though began many years before; I married a man who I thought was my soul mate, and he disappointed me throughout our 30 year marriage. I stayed in the relationship for the sake of our two beautiful girls; but that is never the answer. Major financial worries and working 24/7 certainly didn’t help the cancer growing in my body. After gathering all of my courage to end my marriage, I received this phone call that would forever alter my life. With all of the strength I could muster, I braved through the divorce and simultaneously tackled the road ahead of me, through the loss of my breasts, my thick long blond hair that was my signature and my identity, and through hours of chemotherapy, radiation, medical tests, doctors, surgeries and on and on. What I know for sure; I always tackled my problems head on; I endeavored to do so with dignity, humor and gratitude for all the wonderful people in my world. I knew with great determination that if there was any time in life to back down and change my decision about my divorce; this would have been the time. But I also knew with certainty, that I had to change my life, and look forward to my future; and cancer or no cancer – I was going to do that and be a role model for my daughters and to others facing hardships. In the course of the past year, I packed up 30 years of my life, sold my house, ended my marriage and with as much courage and faith as I could have, plowed through the course of all breast cancer survivors; and I am now looking at the light at the end of the tunnel. It has certainly enlightened me in a way I could never imagine; I have a renewed appreciation for life and for friendship. I feel truly blessed.