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  • Writer's pictureAlison Conigliaro-Hubbard

On World Cancer Day I Honor Me - and You

I’m told that today is #worldcancerday- so I thought to honor MYSELF, I would go back and look through my photos from the first half of 2021. I don’t look at these often - many know I much prefer to ‘put myself together’. It’s been a journey and such an internal one that cannot be depicted by these images. One thing to understand: most of us don’t just leave cancer treatment and then it is done.

But many likely wonder - how did I get HERE to this whole The Lens Leadership thing? You could say I seemed by all measures to be thriving in the career I had pre-cancer diagnosis at the end of 2020. But, when we get a wake-up call that exclaims loud and clear, ‘Life is short and we have no idea if there is really going to be a tomorrow!’, a lot of nonsense from which we had been making choices comes to light.

So, I thought I would show you a bit. As I said, this is to honor me and all the hard work - something most of us forget to do working ourselves nonstop in this fast-paced world to prove we’re smart or pretty or good enough.  (Here’s a tip: you are!)


When my career in tech came to a dramatic halt right before Christmas of 2020, we were in COVID. Having focused so much energy on taking disciplined care of myself over the years, this was a terrifying shock! I knew my job was to save my life, so I took LOA instead of carrying the torch as the first woman to join the keynotes for Sales Kickoff 2021.


26 rounds of radiation, several rounds of Taxol-based chemo, dry-ice caps on my head for 11-hours on chemo days and practically not touching my hair for 9 months, weekly blood tests and black and blue marks in my veins, scan anxiety, going to treatments alone through COVID with my mask, stint in the hospital because parts of my body shut down, and everything in between... Yeah, it was a horrific year in the my life - a ‘blip’ in the grander scheme of things, when I would not look or feel my physical best, but I was saving my life and that is all that mattered.


As Viktor Frankl said, and I paraphrase his genius, ‘when there is greater objective, we do what it takes to get there.’


When I had the epiphany sometime during chemo, ‘why am I less stressed saving my life than I was over the last few years at work???’ - you bet I knew it was time to move on and start something of my own!


You bet I knew why I had to take all of the strengths and talents and hard-earned lessons I had accumulated over a lifetime in so many areas and find ways to help other people thrive!  My epitaph is important to me!


And lastly, it took me a while to get to where I feel centered sharing this layer of my life. It’s one of many incredibly valuable layers from which I became the woman that I am - strong, introspective, outcome-driven, global, empathetic, playful, disciplined, determined, always learning, focused, adventurous, resilient, powerful!


So, here’s to me! And here is to you! And to all the hard work and fighting off the voices in your head questioning your worth! YES, YOU ARE WORTH IT! YES, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU CAN DREAM OF!


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