Blizzard In My Life – The Aftermath (Companion to Periscope)

Today I started a series of Blizzard Chats on Periscope (  I live in the Washington, DC area where Blizzard 2016 dumped about 2 feet of snow on us.  The blizzard, great storm, reminded me of storms in my life; in particular the storm that was my triple negative breast cancer diagnosis in 2008.

One of the greatest challenges of my life was this storm and its aftermath; digging out and reconstructing.  I am a Reconstructionist™ – someone who’s been through the process of rebuilding and healing and continues to do so.  The process of rebuilding and healing, at some points, was unfathomable.  It was a hard realization that, after the storm, my life wouldn’t just return to normal without some work (a lot of work) on my part.  And, now I’m never pushing for normal in my life; I’m pushing for extraordinary.  It’s a serious undertaking and I learned that you can’t get to the business of digging out without getting your tools and resources together.

I’ll be expanding on my future Blizzard Chats on Periscope and blogs, but wanted to provide a few tips for starters.

  1. Get some inspirational music.  I have an aptly titled “Inspirational” playlist on my iPhone that includes all of my motivational music.  My “push” to keep digging out music.  The song that comes to mind immediately is Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan.  If you don’t have one already, start building your playlist.
  2. Get your inspirational movies lined up.  Cool Runnings, based on the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team, highlights the team’s perseverance in the face of the seemingly impossible.
  3. Build your unconditional support team.  This applies to family, friends, coworkers, church members. Only UNCONDITIONAL supporters gain entry.
  4. Gather some mantras, Bible verses and uplifting quotations.  I recommend starting with those that are four lines or less. They are easy to commit to memory and be recalled and recited several times a day.

If you’re like me and live in the path of Blizzard 2016, you may be slowed down from the hustle and bustle of life while many offices, schools, streets and buildings remain closed for the big dig out.  I hope that you’ll take this opportunity to use some downtime to start prepping for your big dig out of your storm and begin your own reconstruction.

I’ll be sharing more insights in the coming weeks on the blog and on Periscope.  Let’s reconstruct something extraordinary.

January 26, 2016

Melanie A. Nix – Triple negative breast cancer survivor.  Always striving to color outside of the lines when defining my new normal.







Keep Going Until Everything (the bumper and the wheels) Fall Off

Last week, as I was taking down our Christmas tree (yes, it’s late, I know), I was pulling down one of our keepsake ornaments that we’ve had for a while.  These keepsake ornaments are from places we have traveled or mementos of milestones and special occasions.  One of these ornaments is Santa and a reindeer riding top down in a convertible (see photos).

I paused, both when we put the ornament on the tree and when I took it off.  When we pulled the ornament out of the box to decorate the tree, I paused with indecision trying to determine if we should put the “broken” ornament on the tree because I had neither the time nor the handy resources to fix it.

But, as the symbolism smacked me in my face, I knew I had to put it on the tree.  As a triple negative breast cancer survivor (one who had a bilateral mastectomy the week before Christmas 2008) and a child who lost her mother to breast cancer (in early December 1990) the meaning behind this broken ornament was so important.  My mother, a three time breast cancer patient, was an inspiration who soaked in the beauty of each day all while managing her 12 year breast cancer fight.  I’ve been broken while facing breast cancer including losing my mother to this disease, being physically broken by all of the surgeries that I’ve had fighting breast cancer and by the emotional and physical brokenness that can accompany breast cancer as you ask “why me”.  But in my brokenness, I’ve worked to move on and get what’s good in life.

So, it brought a tear to my eye to see Santa and his passenger reindeer moving on, bumper hanging, convertible top down and seemingly drinking in life.  It reminded me, even if you’re broken, keep moving on, keep living life to the fullest and do it until the wheels, bumpers and doors fall off.  And if they do, get out and walk or run the rest of the way.  Enjoy every breath of life you can.  Be unstoppable.


Broken ornament on the tree Broken ornament on the tree 2 Santa and reindeer still look happy Santa and reindeer still look happy 2

Melanie A. Nix – coloring outside of the lines in my new normal