The other night, I attended a fitness fundraiser at Exhale Spa in New York City to support the book that my cancer survivor chapter will be in called TOUGH: Women Who Survived Cancer. This project has been a labor of love for me that began way before Lauren of Chi Chi Life and I met through Instagram and she introduced me to Marquina, who spearheaded the book.
My story as a thyroid cancer survivor was the reason I started this site. I was looking for a cathartic outlet and I wanted my story to serve as inspiration for other young cancer patients and survivors. So, when Lauren introduced me to Marquina and told me about the project, I was thrilled to lend my voice and story to this amazing book. I know it is going to help so many cancer patients, their loved ones, and other survivors when they read all of the stories from the 40 inspiring women featured.
Even though I only learned of this project last year, I feel like I have been working on my survivor chapter for the last six years. I have written, re-written, and edited my story so many times with each passing thyroidversary that I celebrated, that you would think it would have been easy to put this chapter together. But it was anything but that. My story is very personal to me and I struggled with which parts to keep, what to cut, and how best to edit it in a way that felt fresh, yet honored the ups and downs of my journey. Ultimately, my chapter was many months of revisions, more edits, and frantic emails and calls to family, friends, and co-workers begging them to review it and give me their honest opinion. In the end, I have a beautiful chapter that truly reflects me, my story, and my journey, and one that I couldn’t be more proud of—so the hard work certainly paid off (and, hey, I still get to see it one more time before it goes to print, in case I have any last-minute changes). But the true highlight for me was sending the final version off to Marquina on the exact day that I celebrated my sixth thyroidversary this month. It couldn’t have been a more perfect time to hit send.
I am so grateful to Lauren for teaching an amazing barre class the other night, and to all of the women who came and worked out for a great cause. It is because of their support (and everyone who donated through our campaign on Kickstarter) that this book is finally coming to fruition. And, of course, a big thank you to Marquina, who dreamed up the concept for this book, found 40 incredible women to interview, and put the whole thing together.
I am excited to share that you will be able to get your copy of TOUGH: Women Who Survived Cancer on September 17, 2019!
Susan Schwenzfeger says
You have come so far! Congratulations 🎉🎈
Vanessa Steil says
Thanks so much, Sue!