Leslie Ghorbani, Survivor since 2017
My name is Leslie Ghorbani and I am a one year cancer survivor. I am 63 years old. I felt like an animal in front of headlights when I learned of my diagnosis. I was feeling healthier than I had been for some time. I was numb and petrified, frozen in that moment. Gratefully, my family was my rock providing unwavering and loving support. My daughter flew home before my second surgery and spent a week devoted to me. I’m a believer life happens for a reason; constant in change.
Seven years ago, we proudly launched our kids in to adulthood and my closest friends moved away. Suddenly, I realized a void in my life. A very social person by nature who loves to laugh, I knew it was time to do something for me. My decision to join Get In Shape For Women, in my home town of Lexington, opened a door to new friendships. In addition to losing 52 pounds, eliminating medications and becoming fit and strong, the women I connected with have been priceless to my health. Knowing I would feel safe, I brought my emotions and fears about my diagnosis to the gym.
Remarkably, as I shared my story with my gym mates, they opened up about their own cancer stories, showing me the greatest compassion. One by one, they offered: rides to the doctors, encouragement to call if I needed to talk, to cook me a meal, the unwavering commitment to take me to a month of radiation, to type personal notes and questions from their experience they felt might be helpful to me, etc. These women, my guardians, were there for me when I had no one else who could relate to what I was going through.
Cancer has taught me to deal with fear differently and surrender what I cannot control. It’s taught me I don’t have to be a super hero and emotions are healthy. I was touched by so many awesome women in my community who donated their time to support me though this uncharted voyage. My frightening diagnosis and treatment were diminished by the kind-heartedness they showered on me. I try to embrace each day savoring the little things and acknowledging the gifts life and others have given me.