Snapshot of my life: cancer not included

A beautiful spot and hopeful message from our recent trip to Santa Cruz, CA.

Due to my looming book deadline, I’m re-posting this older post with a few updates, as a reminder that we’re all more than our cancer.

A while back,  Marie Ennis O’Connor of  Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer sent out an interesting request to fellow breast cancer bloggers: tell us about your other life beyond cancer. I thought this might be a good opportunity to connect with you and tell you a little about me you might not already know.

Some Tami facts:

– I’m incredibly close to my daughter Chrissy, who’s 15, and husband Mike. I’m incredibly proud of our daughter who is an honor student, plays bass drums in marching band, runs in track and is really funny and kind. We’re a team and have lots of fun together no matter what we’re doing.

– I love to travel, especially when nature is involved. My favorite spots are:

  • Hawaii (where my husband Mike and I honeymooned and spent our first anniversary)
  • The bay area of California (where my brother and his family live)
  • Utah (the highlight of which was a private mule ride through an area outside of Bryce Canyon).
  • Asheville, NC – we just went and fell in love with the mountains, hot springs, music and art
  • Puerto Rico, where we celebrated my 50th birthday this year

Mike, Chrissy and I riding the trails in Utah

– My brother Doug (aka Doug Dirt) is the member of the Banana Slug String Band, which teaches kids about the environment and earth sciences through really cool music (not the sing-song Barney variety). They’ve been at it for decades, so if you haven’t heard of them yet, check them out.

– I put myself through college by being a waitress and working as a camp counselor. I was a terrible waitress but kept at it. My most famous customers were Mr. Rogers and Jerry Springer. Yes, don’t you love the dichotomy?  I loved being a counselor, though, so much I majored in education. I found out kids were different in school than summer camp so I transferred to Ohio University, where I majored in journalism. This led to a career in healthcare public relations up until three years ago when I decided to do this blog and write my book, From Incurable to Incredible.

– I have a unique talent: I can play music on my cheeks (on my face!!!) My best song is the William Tell Overture. I take requests, too. Could it be my head is hollow?

This was one of my 80s looks in college. Flashback with a little dose of Risky Business.

– I love ’80s music and tried to be “new wave” in college with my wardrobe and enormous hair volume. I never really pulled it off, but I did fancy myself a good dancer and alternative music aficionado.  Some favorite dance songs:  Blue Monday by New Order, Situation by Yaz, Melt with You by Modern English,  anything by the B52s (Just saw them with the Go Gos – awesome!), Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung (yes, I’m sorry to admit).

– My daughter and I love our affectionate cat AJ. My husband acts like he just tolerates him, but we know he secretly likes him.

Our cat AJ was a gift from a friend.

– My guilty pleasure is People and Entertainment Weekly. I reward myself by reading them as I exercise on my elliptical machine.

– I am a non-practicing Jew; I love the culture and food. Bagels and lox and cream cheese, to die for! Temple and religious matters? Not so much. My husband, a non-practicing Catholic, and I go to a Unity church. My daughter is super spoiled as we celebrate Christmaskah (best of both worlds). Chrissy gets eight gifts than a load of presents on Christmas morning.

Christmaskah at the Boehmer household years back.

– I adore chocolate. Now that I’m on an anti- (c-word) diet, I just do the 70 percent or above. When I went to Europe in my twenties, I did a chocolate tour. Rather than savor beer in Germany, I relished the Milka bars. I took home so many bars, the lady at the airport looked at me like I was crazy!

– I love movies, especially ones that make you laugh, cry and think.

I think it’s important to remember we are more than our cancer diagnosis. What makes you unique? Would love to hear from you!


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