Sandy Vail always wanted to grow her own herbs and make pesto. After her recovery from breast cancer, she did that. But when she stirred the pesto into the pasta, the dish turned green and that didn't appeal to her young family.

"I crossed that off the list and decided to run a half-marathon," she said.

And she did.

Survivor Deb McNamara ran a full marathon.

Her friend, survivor Sherry Detloff, started running again after her last radiation treatment, completing a 5K a few months later.

But it wasn't just fitness that these survivors committed to after their recoveries. They made other changes in their lives and offered this advice:

• Make a list of things you want to do and start checking them off.

• Say 'no' more often.

• Put yourself first sometimes; become the vice president of your own happiness.

• Seriously evaluate your priorities.

• Consider whether it's time to find another job.

• Evaluate your friendships.

• Find reasons to celebrate.

• Don't worry about the dusting and vacuuming if there's something better to do.

• There's always something better to do.

• Make fitness and healthy eating priorities.

• A bad hair day is no big deal.

• Wrinkles and a few extra pounds are nothing to worry about.

• Rather than complaining about getting up early, be thankful you're able to get up.

• Sit on the deck and listen to the sounds of the night.

• Find the next person who needs you and reach out.


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