“I Lived” is why I Go Red. Survivorhood is a beautiful disaster. There is no guidebook or follow the dots for survivorhood, each woman has to lay the bricks for her second chance. There are moments where I wish someone would hand me a guidebook and to show me “this is how you do it.” But then I think to myself, “on October 22, 2009 you were given a blank book and only you know how to write your second story.”
Make a difference. Amongst all of the fear and unknown I stopped to ask “how many other women has this happened too?” In one moment of disaster my passion was born. I wanted to make sure that no other woman endured my fate, I wanted to make a difference and raise awareness about the side affects of hormonal contraceptives.
1 out of 3 women will die from heart disease and stroke. 1 out of 5 people will survive a pulmonary embolism. Those odds are not in our favor. So many women have no idea that their birth control puts them at a higher risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. When we look at these odds one most stop and ask “are they preventable?” The answer is simply, yes they are.
Education starts with you and me, together we can help medical professionals learn the signs and symptoms of blood clots. They do not live in our bodies, we do and we know our hearts like no buddy else does. It still bothers me to this day, that it could have all been prevented. I could have skipped the pain and avoided the aftermath. That if my doctor had listened to my symptoms, she could have ordered the d-dimer test and the clot would have been stopped before it hit my lungs and eventually my brain. I have to live the rest of my life knowing that this didn’t have to happen.
But it did. A beautiful disaster the ignited my passion and gave me purpose. I got a second chance to live this life. I am blessed, I am amazed, and sometimes I feel like I am living someone else’s dream. It’s mine, every pothole, pitstop, and curveball are mine. In the moments of disaster I found myself. I found the strength to continue dancing on the good days and laughing on the bad. I cherish each moment, for I know I am living on borrowed time. I’ve stolen almost seven years from the sandman and I pray that I will steal a few dozen more.
From billboards, to bus stop posters, to PSAs and beyond. Six years ago I had no idea that my story would have so much value and impact on the people around me. State lobby days allow me to make a difference and national lobby days allow me to take a stand. With tears in my eyes I stood on the U.S. Capital Steps right next to Nancy Pelosi, giving a speech on the impact and importance of the Affordable Care Act. You’re the Cure has given me a platform to make a difference and for that I am forever grateful.
Time. Be it given or borrowed I do not take it for granted. I survived the worst day possible. I lived. I’ve squished a lot of life into the past 6 years. I got a divorce, adopted a dog, found a job that I love, mostly amongst it all I found myself. I became a mom, Lucia and baby E rest in God’s heavenly arms. I spent time with my father, wine tasting and thrift stores are our jam. My mama and I spent time in the dells, shopping and lunching. Those two, they are my rock.
Our family grew, I watched my sister become a mom, Sophia and I are bonded for life. I got to paint Sophia’s toes and take her to her first movie, Charlie Brown of course. As I was letting go of Baby E, I again watched my sister welcome her second child. Jack doesn’t know it yet, but he is one lucky little dude, aunties like me are hard to come by. Sophia and Jack are spoiled, I treasure each moment and love them beyond measure. Their Auntie, I will always be.
Love slowly seeped in. Fate brought me my best friend, my confidant, dinasour loving, dirty joke telling soulmate. In Jay I found home, in me he found the woman he will soon call his wife. We were so close to parenthood, but Baby E was never meant to be ours. Jay. and I have hope that our rainbow Is just around the corner.
Who knows maybe if the stars align this time next year “motherhood” will be my why. I would love that “why” very much.
But for now: “I Lived” is Why I Go Red