Aniela McGuinness really knows how to grab life by the horns. She takes every bad deal and turns it into an opportunity to do something amazing. When she found out she had cancer, she decided to use a video blog and her Instagram account to share her experiences in the hopes of helping someone else get through it too. And when she found out she was cancer free, she decided to take a look back at the beginning of her journey, tough as she knew it would be.
Breast and ovarian cancers run in Aniela’s family, and her mother had died of ovarian cancer just a year prior. Aniela had originally planned to meet with her surgeon to discuss a preventive double-mastectomy three days after this phone call would take place. But then she got the call from her doctor’s office saying she already had cancer and would need to move forward with the mastectomy more quickly, possibly followed by chemotherapy.
Amazingly, Aniela had the foresight to record herself receiving her doctor’s phone call. While the video of that sad day is absolutely heart-wrenching, it’s also a bit of a privilege to see a little snippet of one of the most difficult and vulnerable moments of her life.
This video is a fantastic reminder that the things that are overwhelmingly heartbreaking and devastating at certain points in our lives will eventually be entirely in the past. The hurt may never completely go away, but we learn to cope and continue living our lives. A breast cancer diagnosis is not the end of the world, and it’s not the end of your life.
This may also be a good reminder to record important phone calls from your doctor, as the shock of any bad news may keep you from correctly remembering the rest of the information you’re given.
Check out the video below to see Aniela get the phone call telling her she had cancer and find out what she has to say about the experience now that she has, as she likes to say, “graduated” from cancer and has a new perspective.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?