Minnesota Women's Press | St. Paul, MN

U of M Cont Educ TopBanner 7-2017

home : readerswrite : yourstory December 10, 2017

Halfway to the moon
YourStory: Erika Hovlandís year was intentionally filled with more than cancer treatments
When I got diagnosed with cancer I wanted to make sure I had memories in 2009 that were beyond breast cancer.

by Erika Hovland

In the past five weeks, I have slept in 11 different beds. This is a remarkable fact that perhaps makes me sound like an employee of Madam Heidi Fleiss but is much more innocent than that. I traveled to Minnesota, Dallas, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Paris and back to Minnesota with stops in Philadelphia along the way.

I've been living out of a suitcase since Thanksgiving.

I'm tired.

However, I'm grateful.

When I began this year 2009, I was in Beirut, Lebanon. While there, I realized something was wrong with my health. A week later, I stopped in Paris to see friends and shop the soldes. I found a lump in my breast. A few days after that, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

So, you see, this year was "supposed" to have been one where I was sick. Instead, it was something more than that.

It was a year where I traveled more than 60,000 miles. I celebrated New Year's Eve in Beirut and Valentine's Day in Paris. I spent a weekend in Washington D.C. Work took me to Orlando. Weeks later, my mom and I were in Sydney, Australia. In late July, I joined my family in Serbia for my cousin's wedding. I celebrated my birthday in Paris. I flew to Minnesota for my cousin's second wedding, the "U.S." version. I traveled again for work. In November, I spent Thanksgiving with my family in St. Paul, and started the rest of my five weeks of travel-San Francisco, Las Vegas, Paris again, and Christmas in Minnesota.

When I got diagnosed with cancer I wanted to make sure I had memories in 2009 that were beyond breast cancer. I didn't want to look back and only remember the fear of the unknown, the pain, the surgery, and the endless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. I knew I wanted the year to be more than that. It was. I flew 60,000 miles.

Interspersed between my travels were caretaking visits, overnights, coffees, check-ins, knitted scarves and love from my family and friends.

If I added the miles of those who visited me or journeyed with me, we would be halfway to the moon.

And that's just how I want the year to be remembered.

Erika Hovland is a Marketing Product Director for a pharmaceutical company. She grew up in St. Paul and now lives in Philadelphia. This essay was originally published on her blog, www.exploringintherain.com

Got a story?
We'd like to hear it. Some of the best writing we publish comes from readers. For writers' quidelines, go to www.womenspress.com and click on "About us." Email your 450 personal essay to editor@womenspress.com.

ShoeDreams.4-2017.InContent Banner

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Article comment by: Daanny and Kelsey Mirkovic

Erika, that article was amazing, that was one of the most inspirational stories that I have ever heard. I wish you all the best, and I am happy to see that you are winning the fight!!!

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

U of M Cont Educ ROS banner 7-2017

Home | Features | Commentary | ReadersWrite | e-Edition | Get A Copy | Calendar | Classifieds | Advertise | Women's Directory | BookWomen | Extras | Life
Minnesota Women's Press, Inc., 651-646-3968
Site Design and Content
Copyright 2017

Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved