The Best Years of My Life?

I've often heard that your 30s are supposed to be some of the best years of your life. After working through "finding yourself" in your 20s, your 30s are the time when you are supposed to stop apologizing and start owning your feelings and your actions.

As I reached age 30 in 2008, I was coming to terms with some pretty life-changing decisions I had made. As scared as I was, I was feeling relatively confident that I was in control of my life. Cue the earth-shattering diagnosis of a rare and aggressive cancer; God's punch in the gut that told me "In case you were wondering, you are NOT in control here, I am".

At age 30, not only was I going through a divorce, but I had also just been thrown the most wicked curve ball, cancer. My early 30s brought fear and despair, guilt and depression. What I didn't plan on was a life-changing opportunity to work in the very place that I had shown up to day after day, fighting for my life.

As I approach age 40 this year, I sometimes look back at my 30s thinking that I can't wait to leave them behind. But this past decade has proven to include some of the most meaningful years of my life, including watching my daughters grow up (far longer than I thought I would have the opportunity to do), marrying a real-life superhero of a husband and working in a place that allows me to pay forward all of the wonderful care I received. So while many people are devastated to turn 40, I cannot wait to see what the next decade has in store for me.

Whatever it is, I will embrace it fully.

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About the Author

Maria grew up in the historical village of Greendale, where she and much of her family still reside. In March of 2008 she began to experience pain in her right leg. An MRI showed Maria that there was a tumor in her upper thigh/groin area and that it was likely serious. She was immediately referred to Froedtert & MCW's Clinical Cancer Center, specifically the sarcoma team. She feels so fortunate to be working with cancer patients, offering support and empathy. She is blessed to have the chance to bring them educational opportunities and wellness products and services to support them during and after their treatment.

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