Name: Laura Roppe
Diagnosed At Age: 37
Status: October 10, 2013 marks five years from diagnosis. Currently, I have no evidence of disease.
Bio: Laura is a wife and mother of two living in San Diego, California. She’s a singer-songwriter, author, speaker, and hosts a weekly show about love stories and books for Amazon.
My reaction when I was first diagnosed: Total and complete devastation, terror, shock. Up until that moment, I’d believed nothing bad could happen to me. You never think it’s going to be you. I was totally and completely blindsided, just scared out of my mind.
How I’m feeling now: Better than ever, bursting with passion and gratitude and love and clarity on who I am and what I want in life. I am feeling like the best me I’ve ever felt. I love my family and friends and life, and in all honesty, I doubt I would have arrived to this mental place in my life and heart without having gone through my battle with breast cancer. It sure put things into perspective for me and made me realize I’d better get moving with the life I knew I wanted to live.
My inspirations: My daughters, Sophie and Chloe. My husband, Brad. The women out there who have lost their battles with cancer. The families dealing with the loss of their beloved.
My support system: I have the best family in the world, and a bunch of girlfriends who are sisters to me. I’m lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky. I also make music for a living, and I write books, so being creative and able to follow my passions is a tremendous internal support system in itself.
I’m proud of: The fact that cancer became a catalyst for me to reach for a whole new life for myself. Before my diagnosis, I was a practicing attorney. Now, I’m living the life I always dreamed of. I can’t say cancer was the only factor in me starting a new chapter in my life and reinventing myself, but it certainly jump-started me taking action on the voices in my head that knew what I wanted for myself. I’m so proud of my daughters and husband for sticking with me and being so strong through it all.
I’m afraid of: Not much. Yes, I occasionally fear a recurrence of the disease. I’ve been blindsided once so I know it’s possible. I don’t want to leave my family. I want to see my girls grow up. I want to see what happens next. I want to give my kids everything they deserve in life and be there for them. Other than fear of prematurely leaving my family, I fear nothing else.
I’ve learned: Life is short, cancer or not. If you have a little voice inside your head telling you to go another direction with your life, then listen to the voice.
My advice to new patients: You must take it a day at a time and not allow yourself to spiral into unadulterated fear and worst-case-scenario thinking. Just do what must be done today, and the next and then the next. Trust and believe you will get through it, and you will grow and learn from the experience. Focus on giving and receiving love to the best of your ability. And know that you are not alone.