Since I have been sick I have done my best to stay in motion — and many times I accidentally overdo it. Adjusting to a new you takes time, since I’ve known the old me for 29 years! Since March of 2016 I have been on the go, learning about breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer so I can better advocate for myself. Spending time traveling and making memories with friends, family and my new MBC friends I have had the honor to meet along my journey. Experiencing wonderful opportunities while also acting as a volunteer for Community Navigators (a nonprofit that supports individuals with disabilities so they can be included in their communities), blogging, vlogging, spreading awareness about MBC, advocating for more research, enjoying life and participating in several breast cancer initiatives. All are very important distractions from my reality — that I’m fighting for my life.
Staying positive and living a long life has been on the top of my list since the beginning of my journey. Minutes after I learned I had a non-curable form of breast cancer and that I will die from this, I decided to get married. That was my first big distraction. Positive, exhilarating experiences keep me pushing forward, and I consider my journey with MBC an opportunity to try to experience as many things that I thought were impossible before cancer that I can. Each time I do something I thought was out of reach, it reminds me that if that just happened, so can a cure or a treatment that works for me for years to come!
I mean — I met Mariah Carey! Words can’t express what that meant to me. Seriously.
On that note, I recently met with KICK 105.5 (a Connecticut country radio station) and this topic came up. Believe it or not, I love country music (yes, I can love Mariah and country). The conversation usually goes “Who would you love to meet?” and Mariah’s name always shoots out of my mouth. But I love music in general! Music has always helped me through my hard times. When I get bad news and people wonder why I start to cry hours later, it’s because sometimes I can’t handle hearing such news and I turn into Homer Simpson and I step into my mind and listen to music. Country music is as much a part of my heart as Mariah, for different reasons. For starters, a Tobey Keith show is a family holiday for us when he comes to town. My cousin Nick loves him so much, and so do we all. When the Zac Brown Band comes to Connecticut, all bets are off. Martin and I bring everything we have to the tailgate experience. The Zac Brown Band is the first country band Martin ever liked and they finally gave us something country to enjoy together. And I’m happy to say now he loves other country artists now too.
The memories we have made thanks to country music have been huge, but even before Martin and I attended the concerts together, it was always a family affair with my cousins. At my wedding, when Zac’s “Chicken Fried” came on, my family all jumped up and, for that second, we were back on the Xfinity Center’s lawn all together again. I grew up in an Italian family and while we aren’t perfect, we are close and love our family traditions.
So when KICK 105.5 asked me the question “If you could meet anyone … ?” I said, “Zac Brown Band.” I thought they would be shocked I didn’t say Mariah, but I finally had the ear of true country lovers, who I knew would understand. I’ve been fortunate to see so many wishes of mine come true in front of me this past year. This one is a little different. I actually want to meet the Zac Brown Band for my husband and my cousins. This would bring my bucket list for country come true.
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