We spent the sunny Saturday afternoon traipsing around town, when my daughter was inspired into her own impromptu dance recital in front of this mural.


She had no idea that it was the third anniversary of the day my life was turned upside down – the cancer diagnosis. She just grabbed the moment and savored it, so I did as well.


I find it interesting how this anniversary hits me differently each year. Last year, I forgot entirely. But then, I was in a good place.

This year I’ve had a tougher time, and the cancer is on my mind much more regularly. My recent reconstruction surgery plays into that, of course, and my Granny died, and another dear friend just went into hospice.


Cancer does funny things to our heads. A friend, also a survivor, just noted the milestone of experiencing a symptom and not automatically thinking cancer first. We can be fine one day, and the next, unable to ignore the way cancer messed with every single aspect of our lives, from finances and credit ratings and careers, to simple daily frustrations like the day you don’t have the strength to get up and parent a child with patience and presence, and have to yell from the couch across the room. I never wanted to be that mom.


But I’m getting stronger again, and when my strength improves, my attitude does as well.

A little extra daylight may just help a bit, too.


It helps to spend my days with a bouncy, talkative, 40-pound attitude adjuster.


And who could stay in a bad mood around spontaneous dancing like this?


Sometimes. you just gotta dance.

You can learn more about my cancer story here:

my cancer story | Judy Schwartz Haley

Judy Schwartz Haley


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