By Lakysha Laing
Turning 50 is a milestone birthday for many people. It’s a time to reflect on the past half-century and to look forward to the next. It’s also a time to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished and to be grateful for the good things in your life.
For me, turning 50 is even more special because it’s also my fifth year in remission from breast cancer. October is my birthday month, as well as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At the age of 45, I was diagnosed with stage 1A, ER & PR+, HER 2- invasive ductal carcinoma, breast cancer. My Oncotype score (used to predict the risk of the cancer coming back and to help doctors decide whether chemotherapy was necessary) was considered high risk at 56 out of 100.
My breast cancer diagnosis was a devastating blow, but I was determined to fight. I went through numerous surgeries, eight rounds of chemotherapy, 30 sessions of radiation, and continuous treatment for lymphedema. With all of this, I’m so grateful to say that I’m now cancer-free and call myself the #JoyfulSurvivor. This time is a reminder to me of how precious life is and to cherish every moment.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned over the past five years and now turning 50:
I know myself better than ever before, and I’m more confident in my abilities. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and to grow as a person.
I no longer seek external validation from others to make new friends, get that next role or do what is best for me. I just do me!
Writing a book is a liberating and transformative experience. For me, completing The Strength of Silk – Living a Life of Grace & Gratitude in December 2021 was a major turning point in my journey towards freedom and self-discovery. It helped me break free from the limitations I had imposed upon myself and the ones that others had placed upon me. I received honorable mentions for my book in 2022 and 2023 from Reader’s Favorite International Book Contest.
Gratitude is everything. I’m so grateful for my family and friends who supported me through my cancer journey. I’m also grateful for my doctors and nurses who gave me the best possible care.
Life is short. Don’t waste your time on things that hold little importance. Focus on the things that make you happy and that bring you joy.
Every day is a gift. Make the most of each and every day.
I encourage everyone to take some time to reflect on your blessings. Be grateful for all that you have, and never forget to cherish the people you love.
Connect with Lakysha:
On the Podcast: Breast Cancer Conversations
Discovering Your Divine Purpose