Welcome! I'm Chiara, triple negative breast cancer survivor; here is my journey, I hope it helps you!

I SHOULD BE AT MIDDLEBURY

I SHOULD BE AT MIDDLEBURY

I was at the JCC in Manhattan today for their Cancer Spa Day...it was wonderful, I enjoyed a free massage and Reiki session, yoga, meditation and movement class, and learned relaxing breathing techniques. In the middle of all the activities I checked my phone and my friend Megan texted me - she had just arrived to the Mills Campus in Oakland, CA where Middlebury's Italian school was taking residency for the summer. It hit me....last year, at this time, I was on an airplane arriving in sketchy Oakland, unpacking my Dora the Explorer bed sheets (the only twin set my mom had, omg), flip flops and summer clothes. I was grumbling about living in a dorm room at 42, with stained carpets and shared bathrooms. I was exhilarated but terrified at the same time - they gave us enormous amounts of work, in a foreign language, to complete in six weeks, but at the same time was excited for the mental challenges I was about to ensue. My mission was to finish three graduate classes in one summer semester and obtain my Master's degree in Italian Culture. One year later, here I am free-style dancing at the JCC with other women who are bald or wigged, some with lymphedema sleeves and crutches, all affected by the beast. I know, we are strong survivors, but for today, I felt like a freak, I felt sorry for myself, and I looked at myself saying "Wow, where AM I? Last year at this time I thought I'd have some great international job in Manhattan, using my advanced Italian skills. Instead I'm in sweatpants in a room with other half-healthy women doing some new-agey dance thing you see in photos for retreat places in upstate New York!" The keynote speaker, Britta Aragon, says cancer is like pushing the reset button - it is a time where you can reinvent yourself. I can see that silver lining at times, but I have to admit, there are times when the beast shows it's ugly head and I get tangled in a web of self-pity and fear....

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

MARY'S PLACE BY THE SEA

MARY'S PLACE BY THE SEA