Badassery Magazine June 2018 Issue 25 - Page 16

needed a safe, “fallback” job. So, I had my own fashion business on the side but was always too scared to really go for it. Dreams don’t pay the bills, right? After treatment, you can’t wait for either one of two things: 1) to get back to your life, or 2) to start a new one. Now A.C., something shifted inside of me. Suddenly, I realized, “If I could survive cancer, what can’t I do?” What initially felt like a death sentence was a sur- prisingly beautiful gift -- I now had a second chance at a meaningful, authentic life. Life was too short to do things you don’t want to, and I couldn’t go back. Now, as a cancerpreneur, trying to navigate my “new normal,” I am constantly walking two parallel tightropes as I balance between the constant concern of recur- rence and financial instability as an entrepreneur. Although I am con- stantly scared of the unknown, you eventually get comfortable being uncomfortable. Finally, I also know my own value. Instead of worrying about failure, I’m more motivated to show oth- er breast cancer survivors that yes, there is life AFTER cancer. (Not all advocacy has to be loud ra- ras and pink ribbons.) And if my business is truly successful, what better example that you cannot only survive cancer, but you can THRIVE? also a harsh reminder of the sever- ity of cancer; tomorrow is never promised.) As the British novelist, Doris Less- ing, said, “Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” Before Cancer, I was only surviv- ing. Now…I’m ready to LIVE.  Recently, I learned of the passing of a dear chemo buddy, who was such a bright light during a dark time. I will always be thankful for the time we had together. (It was Left: Wearing one of my signature scarves during chemotherapy; Right: At my first fashion event after my final breast cancer surgery Rachel Park is a tie designer and founded Rachel Park Designs. During breast cancer treatment, she founded Survivor Moda and created The ParkPuff™a portable, stylish, chest-comforting seatbelt pillow for breast cancer patients. Rachel Park 15   