While we all had to deal with this unprecedented pandemic, I also had to battle the big C (cancer) which was a major surprise given my age, physical health and lifestyle. I was in disbelief when I first heard about my diagnosis, and tried to stick to the facts to avoid panicking. The facts were well in my favor: very early and localized tumor, categorized as non-aggressive and slowly spreading.  My life was not in immediate danger, even though I had to go through a few week of mental paranoia, thinking I had every possible cancer in my body. I had to contemplate what it would be like to die at a young age, leaving two children behind who may only remember how strict and frustrating I am sometimes as a mother.  How would I spend my last weeks or months, what would my legacy be? In the end, I didn’t have to figure it out quite yet.

While I received a tremendous amount of support from friends and relatives, the word cancer is scary for everyone. I didn’t want to have to carry the additional burden to reassure everyone about my situation. I created a video diary and posted on social media to show everyone I was doing ok. More than feeling the love, I wanted to spread the word and help any other woman going through the same journey.  

Going through this difficult journey was a test for my resilience, which has always been a strength of mine.  Resilience may be an inherited personality trait, but I believe anyone can become more resilient by shifting their mindset, being curious and learning through any life experience. My way of coping is to help others.  There isn’t a problem without a solution. Even when you feel at your lowest, remind yourself that the sun will still rise tomorrow and everything will be possible again.  In the past couple of years, I have been doing so much more work on myself such as regular mediation and breathing exercises, trying to take the time to de-escalate stressful situation.  And I still have so much to learn to reduce stress levels, be patient and think twice before my impulse takes over.

I feel stronger and braver than ever. I believe that this event was indeed serendipitous and a sign that it is time to create the career and life I really want. I need to share that some of our tougher moments can be powerful in helping us realize that we need to keep fighting. I never felt sorry for myself; instead, I want to be even more generous in giving back to the world. I knew it wasn’t my time to go and I am going to be around for a very long time, measuring my impact by what really matters. There is a special space in my heart for the ones who didn’t make it; I will honor them by getting up every morning ready to have the best day ever. We don’t know how long we have here….make the best out of it!


  • Isabelle B

    Strategist, life coach and trailblazer

    Holistic Strategy

    Isabelle has been a business and marketing strategy executive in healthcare and nonprofit management for many years.  In 2020, while in the midst of COVID lockdown, Isabelle was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and fully recovered after treatment. Isabelle saw her disease as a wake up call, motivating her to devote her life to what she is passionate about: empowering others, finding innovative solutions to any problems, and building transformative journeys as a life coach through strategic tools. She is passionate about giving back, and has volunteered her time and talent with numerous nonprofit organizations. She is an outdoor and travel enthusiast, spending time hiking, paddle boarding, swimming and biking.