Hello! I’m Shannon. This blog was started as a creative outlet for me during treatment for breast cancer. Now-a-days, life is rolling on and we are all (I say all, because cancer takes a toll on the whole family+ friends) recovering, living and learning more about ourselves than ever before.
Cancer has left me with a new outlook on life. I won’t necessarily say that I’m grateful that I had cancer, because, just no. I would have MUCH preferred to learn these life lessons without dealing with “the big C”. But that just wasn’t in the cards. All of that said, I am grateful for the appreciation and perspective on life that we have gained. And hopefully, by continuing to write, can share that perspective with you.
My breast cancer story goes a bit like this…
After feeling a lump for over two years, I was officially diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma with Lobular Features, Stage 2a, right breast) on December 1, 2014. With this diagnosis, our world simultaneously screeched to a halt and began again. I endured 5 months of chemotherapy and had a bilateral mastectomy, with no breast reconstruction, in April of 2015.
My doctors saved my life. Hands down, no question, saved my life. My lump/mass did not show on mammograms or ultra-sounds, but my surgeon knew something was wrong and pursued. She and my oncologist are phenomenal and I will forever be grateful for my care team at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In a past-life, I was a graphic designer, web site designer, writer, goofball and prone to bursting out in a fit of modern interpretive dance at any given moment. These days I’m writing, advocating, empowering, still designing and dancing. I’ve put my graphic design background to use and creating greeting cards – yep, snail-mail is my jam! But the part that means the most to me, is many of the cards are created especially for cancer patients and others going through tough times. With a few other funny one’s mixed in… Check us out! www.stripedhatstudio.com
We are also on Etsy at: StripedHatStudio.etsy.com
The posts on this blog have followed my path with cancer treatment, navigating through and past it, and living life to it’s fullest in our post treatment world. My hope is that by sharing my story, thoughts and emotions it demystifies cancer and helps others to understand what life is like as a cancer patient and survivor. And hopefully to connect with other survivors and build our support system for each other.
Much love to you all!