Amy Rogers is beautiful mother of 4 from the west side of Cincinnati. She sat down with me and talked about the vision for her life, the challenges she has faced and the people who have supported her along the way. When thinking about who to interview for our series, Friends of Meraki, I could not stop thinking about Amy. She is a true example of what it means to be strong, positive & connected. Amy has experienced a huge transformation over the last several years. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, Amy has been given the challenge to create a life that inlcudes but is not defined by her stage 4 cancer. Amy is constantly going through treatments, tests and researching options for her health journey. Her body has been pushed to the limit and she has had to change many things about her daily life. She believes her experience has given her a new perspective and approach as a friend, wife, mother & woman. She no longer spends her energy worrying about the small things that used to cause her stress & anxiety. She has had to let things go so that she can focus on what is truly important in her life. She puts her energy into her family and friends. She knows that her mind and body are connected and has found a new level of spirituality that she leans on when things get difficult or complicated. As a formal journalist and producer, Amy was used to constantly being in control of the things around her. She was very independent and liked to call the shots. As her illness progressed, Amy has had to rely on many others who have both directly and indirectly helped her in so many ways. At first, it was extremely challenging for Amy and her family to accept the help and kindness from others. Although she appreciated the generosity, she was not used to being taken care of by other people, often even strangers. Amy now says the love & support from people are a driving force on her journey. Amy is an inspiration to many. Her relationships with others is an example of the power of friendship & connection. Not one of us can predict what will happen when we wake. Amy teaches us to not take life for granted, not to take people for granted. She has found her voice and is using it to help many on their journey through the unpredictable moments of life. Meraki means to do something with soul, creativity & love. As I sat down with Amy, she radiated each of these in a unique and special way. Thank you Amy for sharing your story so that others may see your light, feel your love & connect with your strength.
We asked Amy how she incorporated Meraki’s core beliefs into her daily life…
Soul- I love doing yoga. I had a private instructor and feel like it most definitely benefits my body and mind. I take time to be by myself even when things get busy or crazy. I go to church with my family. I find myself leaning on church when I feel more vulnerable before a big test or appointment. I talk to God and pray for energy. I pray to feel more like myself and pray for things that will make me feel good. I pray for positivity.
Creativity- I write a blog on my cancer journey. I love to write and it helps me keep all of my friends and family in the loop. I love to create & craft.
Love- I definitely believe in retail therapy. I take a lot of baths. I have been getting into essential oils and wear a diffuser bracelet & necklace. I take time for myself to read. I have realized it is not a terrible thing to slow down. Things I used to think were a big deal I realize are not a crisis.
What do you know for sure?
I know for sure… I am strong. I am a fighter. I am willing to do whatever it takes to stay around for my kids and family. I think 4 or 5 years ago- I don’t know if I would have known that. I don’t think I knew much about myself at all. I now know that I am a force. There are things that have happened to me that make me realize that I can do anything.
How has connection with others changed your life?
I have had so many people show up for me along my journey. There’s no way I could have done any of this without my friends & family. I have “Amy’s Army” which surrounds me in support and helps raise money for a research foundation. I have been so surrounded by support. People will call and take my kids out or give them rides. When I couldn’t leave my couch, they would show up and just be present. They would show up with coffee or a good movie. People I didn’t even know would drop off food or send me cards. As we get older, our friends lead separate lives and we don’t get together as much. But when I got sick, my friends made time in their lives for me...sometimes just sitting with me during chemo. All types of friends have showed up for me on this journey.
What is the one thing you want to tell other women?
I believe that every one of us needs to be an advocate for ourselves in any situation we are in. You have to ask questions and if you don’t understand something, ask again. You have to be an advocate for yourself. So many people don’t realize that they can ask questions. Do your own research and don’t be afraid to tell your doctor what you are and are not comfortable with. Go with your gut. Not enough people trust their intuition. If something does not feel right, we need to trust that feeling and act on it. I am so much stronger than I was 5 years ago. Illness disrupts everything and affects every person in my path. Strength is not just for me, but benefits everyone in my family. I am more outspoken and take more risks personally. I find myself trying new things and enjoying life. I am now in the support role to others who are going through a similar experience with cancer. I can relate to what they are facing. I feel good knowing I can help others find strength and encouragement at a vulnerable time in their lives.
Want to learn more about the power of connection? Attend Meraki's next event on Feb 25th! Come enjoy thought provoking activities, eat delicious food and make a simple but beautiful craft. It will be a wonderful afternoon to connect with old friends and make some new ones. Register in the EVENTS section of the website today. Spots are limited.