I'm Back – With Heartfelt Thanks

Dear friends –

As many of you know, the past few months have been full of personal ups and downs for me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February, and then spent the month of March preparing for surgery and what might lie ahead. In April I shared the news of my diagnosis with the Quilting Daily community, then promptly went on medical leave.

vivika hansen denegre and her dog elvis
Enjoying the spring with Elvis.

I can't express how much the support of my friends, colleagues, and the quilting community meant to me during that time. From the words of encouragement posted on the Quilting Daily blog to the prayer flags hanging in readers' gardens, each act of kindness helped strengthen me in my recovery. I treasure the outpouring of this generous community and wanted you all to know that it made a difference to me every day that I experienced your support.

I feel like the luckiest person on earth. After two months, I have returned to work and am on the road to recovery. Each day, my body is healing and my energy is returning. I am truly blessed.

When this journey began four months ago, I made a conscious decision to remain hopeful and positive no matter the outcome. That was not an easy decision: I have held the hand of many friends and family members with this disease, and know that life is fleeting and uncertain. I couldn't choose the path I had to take, but I could choose how to walk that path and who would be there with me.

Thanks to everyone who was there, cheering me on, praying for a speedy recovery, encouraging me with stories of hope, and standing by my side.

Each day – every morning – begins with a choice. Today I choose to celebrate recovery.

Best to you,

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43 thoughts on “I'm Back – With Heartfelt Thanks

  1. So glad you are back and doing well. Staying upbeat and positive is a huge huge thing! RECOVERY is a good thing. Take good care and take each day as it comes. AND take care to rest and pace yourself! Everyone is rooting for you! cheers and hugs su scott :-}

  2. Choices are what we have as long as we exist. It is what defines us as living beings! Your choices are what make you unique and lovable to others… Keep on the positive track!

  3. Vivika, Usually a picture on a blog means very little but when you related your story, I truly wanted to know that you were recovering and things had turned out well for you. Thanks for sharing. I believe what we decide to carry on with – hope, determination, and a positive attitude does affect our outcome. I am very happy to hear you are doing well and I wish you the best.

  4. Vivika it is great to hear from you. Your message about your breast cancer introduced me to the prayer flag project which in turn gave me a new way of staying in touch with a dear friend in stage four of a melanoma. When I didn’t know what to say to her I just sent her flags….it has been a healing process for her and for me. God Bless you and thank you.

  5. Hooray!
    You’re an amazing woman, Vivika.
    Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out.
    I’m not too far away!
    Blessings.
    Stay Strong!

    In JOY,
    Antoinette (Stonington)

  6. I’m so happy for your recovery, Vivika! I remember all those feelings and resulting determination to greet each day with Grace and strength 6 years ago, and still pray for the same each and every day. I will add you to my Prayer list.

  7. Last January I too found out I had BC. My first thought was I can beat this, even when the initial shock goes away and reality is in your face, I found that a positive attitude was my life raft. My wishes and thoughts go out to you.

  8. Last January I too found out I had BC. My first thought was I can beat this, even when the initial shock goes away and reality is in your face, I found that a positive attitude was my life raft. My wishes and thoughts go out to you.

  9. Last January I too found out I had BC. My first thought was I can beat this, even when the initial shock goes away and reality is in your face, I found that a positive attitude was my life raft. My wishes and thoughts go out to you.

  10. Your amazing positive attitude has been such an inspiration to me. I am happy to hear that you are back and that you are doing well in your recovery. We are all blessed that you chose to walk to the path with all of us. The world is a better place with you in it. Be well, be bold, be brave! Onward we go!

  11. I am a 10 year survivor. I went thru surgery, chemo and radiation, the whole nine yards. After I was finished I found that my mind would wonder and start thinking that something was wrong. Quit unexpectedly, I realized that when I was busy with my hands, aka, quilting, I felt better, and so I have done alot of quilting in the past 10 years. Keep up the positive attitude, that does more than any other medicine.

  12. What a positive answer to so many prayers! Instead of a prayer flag I was inspired to create a shadow box in your honor. It is hanging on the wall of my sewing room and reminds me of you every time I see it — which is all the time. Welcome back!

  13. What a positive answer to so many prayers! Instead of a prayer flag I was inspired to create a shadow box in your honor. It is hanging on the wall of my sewing room and reminds me of you every time I see it — which is all the time. Welcome back!

  14. Glad you are back, I wondered how you were doing and thought of you and added you to my prayers. I know you don’t know me but I love Quilting Daily and look forward to it all the time. I have done a number of projects. Thank you so much for your talent and efforts to enrich our quilting lives. Sincerely, Diane Ostdiek

  15. A speedy and full recovery with lots of lovely work to come. Thinking of you. Sending our good vibes from Mount Isa Queensland Australia. Ruth C.

  16. You know that we have been waiting, waiting, waiting to hear from you so this is a joyous occasion and we are very happy that you’re back again!!

  17. I am happy for you and yours that you are doing so well. A positive attitude and the love and support of family and friends are strong medicine. I, like you, wouldn’t have chosen the BC path, but walking it has made me a stronger, better person. I will celebrate 12 years out this July. Every day is a miracle for each of us: Count them all as trophies. Stay strong, sister, and wrap yourself in a virtual hug wrapped with a pink bow.

  18. This is fantastic news. I have been thinking of you over the past few months as I went through the various steps myself. Happily for me, the lump was benign; unhappily for you, it was not. But I am very happy to know that you have survived the surgery and that you are well now – you certainly look it in the photograph with Elvis. Hang in there.

  19. From NZ: welcome back and very best wishes for your continuing recovery. My step-mother had a mastectomy 3 years ago and then the follow-up chemo treatment. She is now a spritely 87 year-old…. and an inspiration to us all.

  20. so happy to hear of your recovery, and praying for continued improvement in your health and stamina every day. you already have the perfect outlook! glad you are back.

  21. So glad you are back. God bless you in your recovery. Thank you for sharing your story. If I may, you mentioned prayer flags in gardens. What is that exactly? That piques my interest.

  22. So glad you are well. Thank you for reminding us that we can’t get slack with our screening. Just had my mammogram. Having no family history is not a guarantee for immunity. The older you get, the better your chances for breast cancer. Get screened.

  23. Thank you all for the tremendous outpouring of support. Your comments have made my day. It is so comforting to know that we are all in this together: we all share eachother’s triumph, and feel eachother’s need. Quilters are the kindest and most loving group of people I know, and your support has made this journey easier! Love to all, Vivika

  24. I, too, experienced the trauma of breast cancer…and its ups and downs. I would like to offer you the hope of more than ten precious years since my diagnosis.
    Time marches on, and the more positive attitude one has, the better. All the best in the years to come!! A reader from Ontario, Canada

  25. Welcome back! Continue the positive attitude, even if it is in 15 minute increments. Don’t push your recovery allow it to unfold and snuggle Elvis as often as possible…..

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