Elissa Ashwood, CEO of Truly Accomplished, has a special challenge ahead. Rather than fret, she is going to fight with frills and bring out the good stuff. After a routine breast cancer screening that turned into a second look, and too many “It’s probably nothings”, the “nothing” turned into something: Cancer. Elissa’s tumor was caught at less than a centimeter (0.8 cm) and her prognosis is excellent. Her radiation treatments will last 33 days, and start April 30th.
“When you are first diagnosed, there are two schools of thought. Never wash another dish because you are going to die, or go on through life because life is going to stay the same,” Elissa said. “A cancer diagnosis is like a tree; there are many branches. Until you find what branch of the tree you are going to be on your life is in limbo.”
Elissa’s limb is sturdy and budding. But being on the strong limb of the cancer tree allows Elissa to offer support and encouragement for others. “Being on this branch has allowed me to do something,” Elissa said.
Elissa’s approach to the fight is going to mean celebrating the day she has, and the good stuff that life brings. Normally a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, Elissa is breaking out frilly dresses to wear to her 33 radiation appointments. Yes, dresses. “Cancer makes you feel ugly. Cancer is ugly. So I want to face it with the beauty and strength from the inside out.”“I didn’t want to be disheartened. I thought, what would make me feel like I am living my real life,” said Elissa.
Cancer is not a party. Elissa knows she was blessed with an early detection and an excellent prognosis. She talked with the nurses about her idea. “The nursing staff was super supportive. They even asked for a flyer to hand out to patients. It was especially great when survivors told me they liked it,” said Elissa.
The idea of living life to its fullest everyday and bringing out the good stuff appeals to a lot of people, not just cancer patients. “People feel frustrated when bad things happen. You just don’t want to lose things in your life, and you want your life to be good still. But this made me realize, whatever you ‘re facing, you still have choices in how you handle it,” Elissa said.
Over the next 33 days we invite you to follow Elissa at www.33dresses.com and find her (in dresses) on Facebook at 33dresses.
Whodidgoodtoday.com is collecting GOOD stories for Elissa. The goal is to collect 33 stories of what your favorite memory is in a dress.
Stories should be 1,000 words or less and focused on how a dress changed your life, or a special moment in your life that included a dress. Dress up your story, and let’s give Elissa a story a day to keep her fighting, motivated, and dressed-up.
Your Dress story will be published on Facebook, whodidgoodtoday.com and hopefully made into a book with the proceeds donated to Elissa’s future non-profit 33 Dresses.
Have questions or story submissions? email@example.com
I loved Elissa’s attitude and her spirit. I have been working “Good” since January 16th. Every podcast I listen to and every book I read, says more personality and a personal connection is essential. So now here is my chance.
Elissa and I have something in common. We are two women who have decided to fight back using the GOOD stuff. Whodidgoodtoday.com is a comeback. For me, not with dresses but by sending positive stories and people into my life and through my brain and out with keystrokes.
Things appear “all good” but it hasn’t always been that way. I am a newspaper reporter who left her career early. When my daughter was 3, she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, then two years later my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as well, and my daughter developed Celiac disease. When you are a mom of children who deal with chronic health issues, a ‘real” job is hard to come by. It’s a constant balance, and of course children come first.
Whodidgoodtoday.com is my fight back, to bring out the good stuff in me, and our world. Whodidgoodtoday.com is joining Elissa in the fight to bring out the good stuff. Because like Elissa, the kids and myself…we are going to be all GOOD.