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LIVING after breast cancer, with Mindy Miller

Approximately 2.3 million women around the globe were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021, and these numbers are on the rise.


“Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the world’s poorest countries and the second leading cause of cancer death in American women." - BCRF

"The developing world is experiencing higher mortality rates than ever before due to a lack of screening and access to treatment, and we are seeing disparities right here at home as social and economic factors create barriers to proper diagnosis and care.”


This month Bonsie Skin to Skin Babywear is donating all profits from its Peony Footie sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It is the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the country and the largest private funder of breast cancer research—and metastatic breast cancer research—worldwide.


Graphic of Peony Footie with text stating, "100% of all Peony Footie profits will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Bonsie had the pleasure of speaking with Mindy Miller, a stage two breast cancer survivor. Mindy is a medical speech-language pathologist working in a skilled nursing facility. She recently celebrated 6-years cancer-free and has found great healing in mentorship and advocacy within the breast cancer community on both the local and national levels.


Photo of Mindy Miller
Photo of Mindy Miller. Photograph by Rhianon Brown: @rhianonbrownphotography

Mindy wrote a beautiful letter titled, Life after cancer? How about *living* after cancer?


We would like to share her encouraging words here:


My joy. My greatest concern after receiving my own breast cancer diagnosis in 2016 wasn’t for my own mortality, but instead my joy, my mental health. My spirit.


Would I ever smile again? How long until I would be able to laugh? Spoiler alert, I did and I have!


Learning how to live again after a cancer diagnosis is no easy feat, and there’s no blueprint for it. But it’s possible. It takes intentionality and time, a deep humbling and the volitional relinquishing of our own desired timelines for our lives.


The truth is, cancer can be devastating, it can embody enumerable sacrifices, the rearranging of nearly every priority. That forced pivot.


So when I say it can get better and immensely so, this is not toxic positivity. This is real talk based on personal experience, years of deep introspection and work.


I have sat in it and with it. The depression, the fear, the crippling anxiety… I admit they have each borrowed my energy over the years. I have visited my own personal brink on more than one occasion, and then pressed on.


However, permitting their residence within me was not an option. I assign each the role of passersby, and while I acknowledge each one as they drift through, I instruct them to keep moving. They cannot dwell here because I have plans, and where I’m going, I have no vacancy for them.


I share these 2am sentiments because the reasons to have hope are endless! And while simply hearing it gets better can sound like fiction, sometimes we have to see it to believe it.


*Living* after cancer is better than mere life after cancer. Join me! It’s attainable and within reach. Time and grace, work and grit. It can and will be yours. Believe it and accept no other options.


We didn’t survive to suffer, we survived to live! And here we are, present and with purpose. Living. One day at a time.

When asked about her future family goals, this is what Mindy said:


“Currently, my husband and I are hopeful for our future with family planning. We have put our full faith into what will be will be, in timing that is not ours. We welcome what this life after breast cancer treatment has in store for us!”


Thank you to Mindy for inspiring us and for encouraging so many women!


To follow Mindy’s remarkable story check out her Instagram page @msmindymiller.

Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is on a mission to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research.


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