Barbara Koch – “Life is Good” Philosophy Keeps Her Strong

Published On: October 24, 2017Categories: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Buzz, Uncategorized

We revisit Barbara Koch, a Channel Impact employee with an incredible outlook on life after cancer. Here is her update.

Recently I took time to reflect on what the last three years have been like for me as a breast cancer survivor. I prefer to say “warrior” because I feel I’m always in the fight. Cancer could come back – so I worry, but I don’t let it keep me down.

Breast cancer is awful (any cancer is) and I shudder to think of others hearing the news they have it. Both my parents died from cancer and several of my aunts and uncles. However, I mostly think about what good has come from me having had breast cancer. I focus on the generosity of my family and friends who supported me when I was undergoing treatment and what I have learned about myself through the experience.

I’m basically the same person, but having had cancer, I am stronger. I tell myself that if I can face chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation – then I’m pretty tough. I have to be mentally tough as well.

Most every day I give myself a pep talk that “life is good “no matter what is going on. My vision for my life is clear. I look at what have and not what I don’t have. I tell those who are the most important people in my life that I love them. I count my blessings, I donate my time, and I give back as much as I can. Most of all I try and be kind and to be the best human being I can be.

Life has its ups and downs, but it’s how I choose to respond to the bumps and bruises that matters.

Last year I was laid-off from my job which made affordable health care a big concern. I had to change all my doctors including my oncologist because of new insurance. In June, my husband was diagnosed with skin cancer and had to have surgery. Several family members have had medical issues, and a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Another friend of mine died from cancer. In only twelve short months, my life and the lives of people I cared about had changed dramatically.

However, this year was also utterly fantastic. I found new and caring doctors, and I remained cancer-free. I celebrated my 35th wedding anniversary in Kauai. I planned a beautiful wedding for my daughter, and I started tap dancing. All three of my children have achieved significant milestones in their lives. In these same twelve months, my life has been richer than I could have ever imagined.

I cherish even more now the times I have with family and friends. I make sure they know I am here for them if they need me because they were always there for me.

Life is good because I know that no matter what happens, I have learned I am stronger and tougher than I was before cancer.

Barbara Koch is currently producing youth theatre plays and musicals, writing blogs and volunteering her time at her youngest son’s high school.

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