Episode 24: From Traveling the World to Overcoming a Personal Challenge

In this episode, I had a wonderful conversation with Christie McConnon, a breast cancer survivor mentor equipping other survivors with lifestyle tools to find their new normal after breast cancer.  She shared how her life suddenly changed from traveling the world with her family to battling breast cancer and overcoming it. 
 

  • 2:39 - Traveling the world with her family

  • 8:30 - Her first mammogram at 40 years old

  • 10:05 - The fourth biopsy and her diagnosis

  • 12:40 - Surgical management and recovery

  • 19:29 - Looking back on her lifestyle prior to cancer

  • 23:03 - Her greatest challenge and the turning point

  • 26:04 - People who helped

  • 29:06 - Her greatest lesson

  • 33:53 - Giving hope

  • 37:49 - Her best advice


Christie specializes in teaching thrivers how to use plant-based essential oils for physical and spiritual wellness, self-care, intimacy,  and reducing toxins in their homes. You can find more information on her website christiemcconnon.com

She has been married for 31 years and has 4 young adult children and 1 grandson with another one on the way.   By day she is a middle school science teacher.  By night she mentors other breast cancer survivors.  She loves fitness, traveling, meeting new friends on social media, and spending time with her family and friends. Find out more about Christie and connect with her through Instagram and Facebook!

Don't forget to download your FREE GUIDE to Mindful and Energetic Living here, and subscribe to this podcast!

See you in Episode 25!


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Mindfully Recharged Podcast by Mariana Thomas
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Mariana 0:00   

Hello and welcome, you are listening to the Mindfully Recharged Podcast with your host Mariana Thomas. And today's episode, Christie McConnon -  a breast cancer survivor mentor, equipping other survivors with lifestyle tools to find their new normal after breast cancer. I’m super excited to have Christie in our show today. You're going to love, love, love this story. And I can't wait for you to listen. So, stay tuned, and I will see you there. 
 

Intro Speaker 0:47    

Welcome to Mindfully Recharged with Mariana Thomas. In this podcast, Mariana brings you mindful conversations and people that will develop and recharge you from the inside out so that you can increase productivity in your personal and professional life. This is Mindfully Recharged.  
 

Mariana 1:07   

Hello, and welcome. Christie McConnon. Welcome, my friend. How are you today? 
 

Christie 1:18   

Hi Mariana, thank you so much for having me here today. I am doing well and I am so excited about being here with you. I remember meeting you in Clubhouse and just connecting and you said, you know, you asked me to be on the podcast and I'm so honored to be here. So, thank you. 
 

Mariana 1:33   

Super excited. Super excited that you answered with “Yes”. So, I’m grateful for that. By the way, I know you can’t see this, but I see this beautiful sign behind her, and we are in Zoom right now. It says “Let your faith be bigger than you fear”. Oh my God, we got to talk about that. 

 

Christie 1:57   

Yeah, that's my motto. 

 

Mariana 1:59   

That's your mantra. Yes. I love that. I love that right away. I was captivated by that quote right away. Okay, Christy. You know, from the moment I met you, I was just so drawn to your energy and to your beautiful self. And of course, the reason I wanted you to be here is that I wanted to know more about you. And I know that your story is going to touch the heart and soul of some people. And they can learn a lot about this topic. So where does Christie’s story begin?  
 

Christie 2:39   

Well, I have been married for almost 31 years. I’m going to take you back to 31 years ago when I got married. Our anniversary is actually coming up this Wednesday, so it's perfect timing. On May 12, 1990, I was graduating from college, the University of Arkansas. I got my degree in Elementary Education, well, in Education. And the same day I graduated from college, I got married. So, at 2 pm, I graduated from college, and then at 7 pm, I got married because you know. My husband was on active duty in the army and he didn't have much leave time. So, I wanted him to be at my graduation. So, we had to do the two on the same day. So that's where my journey began. And we started off in Panama. He was stationed in Panama, and so I taught Elementary School in Panama, in the first two years of our marriage. And then we had our daughter who was getting ready to turn 29. And then we spent the next 16 years moving all over the world. We went from Panama to Germany. And when we moved to Germany, I had my second child, which was my oldest son. And we lived there. And then we came here to Maryland, which is where we're currently living. We lived here for about four years, and I had two more sons. And then we moved to Virginia, to El Paso, Texas, back to Germany, and been back here. 

 

Mariana 4:17   

I'm sorry to interrupt you there. But well, I was just thinking what it's like to travel all over the world, and have some babies in between that? 

 

Christie 4:27   

I loved the adventure. My daughter and I were talking today. She was like, “I don't know how you did it with four kids. We were moving all over. You were homeschooling…” I homeschooled my kids for six years because we were moving all over. I wanted them to have you know, a constant education, some stability in their education. And I'm grateful that I did that. But I loved it because… that's why I love Facebook. That's why I love Instagram. That's why I love Clubhouse because you literally get to meet people all over the world. So that was an adventure, you know, getting to go on our vacations. We were all over Europe or, Central America, South America. It was an adventure for me. I missed that adventure. That's what we did. And we settled here in Maryland about 17 years ago. And, you know, my health was good, everything was fine. When I turned 40, I went for my first mammogram. And that's when I discovered that I was at high risk for developing breast cancer.  

 

Mariana 5:39   

Let me ask you something, so why did you wait until 40? You know, when I was in my 30s, somebody told me that at 35 is when I needed to start my mammograms. I remember going to the doctor and saying, “I’m here to get a prescription for my mammogram.”, and my doctor did. But when I went to take the mammogram, they wanted to send me back, they were like, “Well, you're too young. You're like, 35. Why did you want to get a mammogram?” I said, “Why not?”  

 

Christie 6:19 

Did you have a family history? 

 

Mariana 06:21 

I did not, but I believe it was a singer from where I'm from, Columbia, and she was in her 30’s. And I heard her saying, “Don't wait until you are 40, just start getting your mammogram earlier”. She actually said earlier, and that is when I went to the doctor, but what was interesting is that they wanted to send me back.  

 

Christie 6:49   

That was the age when I had it done. And they actually wanted to raise it. I think they have since not raised it because there are so many young women being diagnosed at an earlier age, because I was 44. But that was when they started doing them there. And speaking of Columbia, I wanted to tell you, when I listened to your story, I've been to Colombia, I've spent a night in Bogota. It was 10 years ago, no, 12 years ago. I went to Brazil with my daughter on a Missions trip. And then we stayed in Colombia on our way to and from. So, I've been to your country.  
 

Mariana 7:32 

And by the way, thank you, Christie, for listening to the first three episodes. So, I hope that you, if you out there are listening to this episode right now, go back and listen to those first three episodes. They are crucial, right? 

 

Christie 7:49   

Yeah, it was great hearing your story. And when I heard I'm like, “I’ve been to her country. I’ve been to Bogota.” I was there. We went on a boat trip; we went from one place to another by boat. And we spent the night on the boat, slept in hammocks. And at one point on the boat, you could see Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. 

 

Mariana 8:11   

Wow. Incredible. And that was, you know, part of you, wandering around the world, which is amazing. So, let’s go back to the story. So, at the age of 40, you decided to go and get your examination. So, you got your mammogram. So, what happened after that? 
 

Christie 8:30   

My first mammogram. I was really good about going in for my annual visits - my annual female visits. And when I went in for the one at 40, they said, “Oh, it's time to start getting your mammograms”. So, I, you know, I did it. I breastfed four children and I thought, I'm good to go. And they said, “Well, we see some calcifications. So, we want to do extensive, you know, diagnostic mammograms”. And they did. And you feel like a contortionist, you don't realize they could smash you so many different ways. And I had a biopsy done at that time, I was diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), which just basically means you're a high risk for developing breast cancer. And if over the course of the next four years, if they told me to come in six months a year, I would come in, and I had three biopsies done before the fourth one, which is the one that was breast cancer. So, when I went in for the fourth one, actually six months prior to that, when I had it done, the doctor said that she had seen some changes, and she wanted to keep an eye on it. And when I come back in six months. And I'm a teacher, I was teaching elementary at the time, I'm teaching middle school now. And she said, “Come back in six months”, and I said, “Well, how about if I wait till the end of the school year?”. She said, “No, I want you to come back in six months.” Because teachers work their whole life around the school year. 

 

Mariana 10:03   

Got it. And this was your fourth mammogram? 

 

Christie 10:05   

This was my…well I had more than four, but my fourth biopsy. And so, when I went back for the result, I went back six months later they did another mammogram and said “we need to do a biopsy”. And so, I had it done. I had the biopsy done. And when I went back for the results, I went by myself because I thought it's going to be LCIS again. And when the intern handed me the pathology report, I knew right away because, by that point, I had done enough research to know what to look for. And they said ductal carcinoma. Which “carcinoma”, you just know, you know. And he told me, “You have breast cancer”. So, I remember going outside, sitting on the bench, and calling my husband to tell him, and I mean, I remember where I was sitting, and it was kind of surreal. And I was still teaching. So, I finished out the school year. And met with my oncologist and the team of doctors that we met with, and my husband is an attorney and is a great researcher. He's has a medical background, from being in the military in the Navy before he was in the army. So, he did tons of research for me as well. So together with the doctors… 

 

Mariana 11:36   

Christie, let me stop you right there for a second. You mentioned: “I had done some research. And by the time I got there, I knew what the answer was going to be”. So, what were the symptoms? Or the research that you did on your own and from your husband (and we get there in a minute). What were the things that you were feeling in your body that made you think, “Okay, I know this is a positive result”? 
 

Christie 12:10   

No, I actually didn't think it was a positive result. But when he handed me the pathology report, at that point, I knew some of the vocabularies. I knew that. “Oh my, this isn't lobular carcinoma in situ”, but I honestly walked in there thinking it was what it had been the last three times. So, more research, of course, took place after the diagnosis. 

 

Mariana 12:37   

Your husband went and did some research. 
 

Christie 12:40   

Yes, he's a major researcher, which I'm very grateful for. And he had, you know, he understood the vocabulary, some of the medical terminology better than I did at that point. But after meeting with our medical team, and my husband and I talking and praying, making the decision…we decided that I would have a double mastectomy. And once I decided, I met with a plastic surgeon. I grew up in Arkansas, and so, he happened to be from Arkansas as well. So, that was comforting, a homebody there. And I met with the plastic surgeon and decided what I was going to do for reconstruction. So, every decision that we made, and you know, we talked about it, prayed about it, and moved forward when I got the peace that I felt like I needed to have. So, I had a double mastectomy and had the summer to recover from it. I was off from school so I had this summer and was so blessed by our church providing meals for us, and friends. Like the whole breast cancer journey was humbling because people came out of the woodwork. I had the surgery and had the summer like I said, and then that following school year, I was starting at a new school. I had to change schools because just before I found out I had cancer, I found out that I was the low man on the totem pole at my school and that means lowest in seniority and they had to eliminate a position which was me. I still had a job but I had to find it in another school. I found another school and you know what's funny is when I went to have my… 
 

Mariana 14:36   

Wait, in the middle of getting diagnosed with this disease that I don't want to say the name, you were told that you needed to find a different school. So, you were not fired. You just needed to go and find something else. So how did you manage that? And the other question that I have before I forget, I'm going to throw that up there. And that research that your husband did on his own, what did he find that was helpful for you? 
 

Christie 15:16   

Well, the first question, whenever I woke when I had the biopsy done, they went in and they took the tumor before I had my double mastectomy. And when I woke up, one of the nurses, he and I were talking, and he said something about his kids went to an elementary school in Fort Meade, which is here locally. It's a military installation. And that's where I went and applied, I actually got a job at that school. 

 

Mariana 15:47   

Wow. You killed two birds in one shot. 

 
Christie 15:51   

It was coming out from under having surgery, and he's telling me about his kids loving this school. And I applied. And my husband did the research on the different types of reconstruction. He did you know, what are the outcomes like? When I had my reconstruction, I had implants put in. So, he did the research on implants. He did the research on double mastectomies versus lumpectomies. He did and it was pretty exhausting. 
 

Mariana 16:30   

He took it on himself to go in and be a support, which is phenomenal. Because I believe, you know, when women especially women, we have such a hard time asking for help. Even if it is, you know, the husband, the boyfriend, the family, whatever it is. I'm glad that he just said, “Okay, I'm here, I'm here to support let me use my strength”.  

 

Christie 16:59   

That’s definitely his strength. 

 

Mariana 17:00   

That is a strength. “Let me use my strength. And let's go and find out how I can support my wife”. So that's just amazing. What great work. 
 

Christie 17:11   

Yeah, I was really grateful. And we happen to be living here in Maryland again. And I was at Walter Reed, which is the top-notch military hospital. So, it's a teaching hospital. So that's where all of the best physicians are. 
 

Mariana 17:25   

Yeah. Okay so, after that, what was the breast cancer diagnosis and treatment plan? What was the plan?  
 

Christie 17:42   

I had a double mastectomy. And, of course, the breast cancer was only on one side, but I am a little vain. And I wanted to be symmetrical when I'm at my reconstruction. And my plastic surgeon told me, it's a lot easier to build two at the same time than to match one to the other. And it was a blessing in disguise having that done. Because whenever I had the double mastectomy, they discovered in my other breast that I had the LCIS in that breast as well, which could have, I mean, it could have turned into breast cancer. 
 

Mariana 18:19   

So just you just went to say “let me face this”. When I think about making decisions for ourselves, that type of decision doesn't even need the opinion of anyone. Because the doctor can say, “Hey, here's what's going on”. But at the end of the day, it's your decision to say yes, or no. Right? And to put yourself first before anything else, so good for you. 
 

Christie 18:55   

Yeah. And when you get that diagnosis, mine was, I knew if I had it, it was probably early because I had been very diligent in going in, you know, over those four years when they asked me to. But when you get it, it, you're learning a ton of information at one time, they give you so much information at once and trying to digest it and make a decision that you're not going to regret later on based on what you know, maybe I didn't know enough. 

 

Mariana 19:29   

So, speaking of regrets, Christie. What was the lifestyle that you had before this diagnosis? What was your lifestyle, that you go back and think, because you know, these types of things can be genetic? It can come from so many places. But what is one thing, when you think about self-care, what is one thing that you would have done differently, to begin with? 
 

Christie 20:02   

That goes right along with, you know, all of the changes I've made since then. First of all, reducing stress. Because stress is a huge contributing factor for women who get diagnosed with breast cancer, because it triggers so many things in our bodies. Stress is an emotional thing, which causes adverse physical reactions. So that, I'll tell you all, I mean, let me get to that in a second, all of the lifestyle changes I've made since then because of it. Because it was because of breast cancer that I made lifestyle changes. And, you know, I didn't have a family history on my mother's side, on my father's side, my paternal grandmother had breast cancer, she didn't die from breast cancer. But they usually looked at the maternal side, and I didn’t. I didn't have a genetic component to it. And actually, when they did the BRCA test, it came back negative. So, I had that done because I have a daughter, and I mean, I have sons as well. And boys can get it as well. But I didn't have a family history. So, to get it, it had to be environmental. So, it could be something I was exposed to, and so I'll get to that in a minute. Because that came, all of those changes came after I went through breast cancer, but, you know, I breastfed my kids. So, I thought I was good. Like I said earlier, I mean, I exercised, I wasn't recognizant of the things I was eating, I didn't really pay attention, I ate the standard American diet, which is kind of sad. 

 

Mariana 21:47   

Okay, I got enough right there. 
 

Christie 21:51   

I mean, I did exercise, I was active, you know, I was just enjoying life. I was stressed because I was teaching full time and had four children at home. At that time, I had one in elementary, two in middle and one in high school. So it was, you know, trying to work and keep up with the family was a challenge. 
 

Mariana 22:13   

That’s what my question in the beginning was, how was that traveling around the world and having babies in between that? 
 

Christie 22:23   

I mean, I loved it. But it was also stressful because we never lived around family. 
 

Mariana 22:29   

And that's what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the things that we sometimes go through with life. We would view it as a, “Hey, this is where my life is going right now”, and I'm bringing that to this topic, Christie, because this is my spot. This is like self-care, put yourself first. And sometimes we go through life without thinking, “How much is this affecting me?” 

 

Christie 23:01   

I didn't think about those things. 
 

Mariana 23:03   

You don't think about it. You don't think about it, you just go with the flow. So that's what my question was. And we get into more of that because I want to ask you another question. What was the biggest challenge or the greatest challenge that you had during this journey? 
 

Christie 23:24   

Probably trying to keep up and provide for my family. It helped my family when I went through chemo, because I started chemo just before, like, the Friday before school started. And I'll never forget, it was the first week of school, I was at a new school. I wanted to make a good impression. But the first week of school is when I started getting sick, I had started running a fever. I was in the hospital, the second week of school. That was stressful, because I felt like I was letting down my family. I felt like you know, I'm the one that's supposed to be keeping the family moving. And here I am laying in a hospital room. I can't teach my students; I can't take care of my children; I can't take care of my husband. That was stressful. But God put a nurse there, a male nurse who came in and he saw that I was upset. I even had my husband bringing me papers the second week of school to grade, which “let it go!” But this nurse came in and said, “Christie, your focus right now needs to be on getting better, taking care of you. Your husband's going to be okay, your kids are going to be okay. Your students are going to be okay. Everything's going to be okay.” So, he was my angel in disguise and I had the opportunity a year later, I was at that hospital with my daughter and I had the opportunity to go upstairs and find him and thank him for what he did for me because that was kind of a turning point for me. 
 

Mariana 24:59   

Exactly. You know, I was talking to, I think it was yesterday that I had a room of burnout, right? And I was telling the people to get into the room. I was saying, you know, “putting yourself first is not selfish. And sometimes we think that if we say “no” now to our kids, or the husband, or whatever that is, we are not being kind to these people, and you're being a bad mother, or this and that.”, but sometimes in order to supply other people, or to give oxygen to others, you got to give oxygen to yourself first.  
 

Christie 25:48   

If you run out the car on empty. 
 

Mariana 25:52   

Exactly, exactly. So, I'm so glad that this nurse was there for you to turn things around. It’s exactly what I teach, it’s like, “It's okay. Don't feel guilty.” 

 

Christie 26:04   

I've told you how much research my husband did. He was my rock during that time. He, you know, each week, he would have a family meeting with our kids. I wasn't there. I mean, I wasn't part of the meeting. And they decided who was doing what chores for that week. And he kept the family running. And that's such a blessing because I couldn't do it at that time. He stepped up, friends and family members, friends, you know, people that didn't know that well, former students, parents came in and helped, you know, brought meals to my kids' places. I had a couple of girlfriends that we were stationed with in Germany, they came one weekend and took me to lunch and brought me seven meals for the freezer. And that was the greatest blessing, having people step up and fill in the gaps when I couldn't. 
 

Mariana 26:59   

Yes. That's what I always say, we can't do this alone. We can't do this alone. Sometimes we think “I’m okay.” and the thing is, it’s so hard to ask for help. It's so hard for us to ask for help, and then we realize that it's okay. 
 

Christie 27:22   

Yeah. Because, how often do we want to be that blessing to other people? We want to help people. It's harder to be on the receiving end of that. 
 

Mariana 27:33   

Yes. Especially you as a teacher, you know? 
 

Christie 27:36   

Yeah. Always a humbling experience. 

 

Mariana 27:38   

Yeah. I love that. I love everything that I'm hearing. And, you know, we're going to have to give your husband a medal. 
 

Christie 27:48   

Yeah, he's put up with me for 31 years. 

 

Mariana 27:50   

Oh, that's beautiful. That’s a lot of years, just the support through something like that. That's when you know what true love is, right? 
 

Christie28:00   

Yeah. And it's funny because he had that medical background because he was prior enlisted in the Navy before he finished his undergrad and went to law school. And he was a hospital corpsman, which is kind of like a medic in the army. And when I had my surgery and came home, I had the drains, and one of them was ready to come out, and the drive to the hospital is like 45 minutes to an hour without traffic. So, we talked to the plastic surgeon, called him and said, “Hey, is it okay, if my husband takes the drain out?” He did one of them. 

 

Mariana 28:37   

That's awesome. So, when we go through hard things in our life, I always believe that is for a reason. They are always there to teach us something. Everything that happens for us, now to us, is to teach us something. So, what is the greatest lesson, Christie? 
 

Christie 29:06   

Well, for me, breast cancer made me a better person instead of a bitter person. Because it gave me a second chance. It gave me a chance to look at my life and see what changes I needed to make. I started exercising more. I looked at you know, and this has been over the course of 12 years. This wasn't all overnight. I changed my diet. I've eliminated dairy for the most, like 95% of the time I go dairy-free. I try not to do too much as far as, chicken, pork, beef. I'm not totally plant-based. I've tried, I'm trying to get there. I'm still working on that. I've incorporated essential oils into my life too. As you know, as preventative and I've eliminated toxins, I look at personal care products. I had no idea what personal care products could do, what can be lurking behind the ingredients of personal care products, because, you know, now I pay attention to my shampoo, to my deodorant, to my laundry detergent, all of those things. Because I didn't realize that they could be wreaking havoc on my hormones. And, you know, I teach middle schoolers, and I tell them, don't be using these products that are full of fragrances that could be… that's why some women are being diagnosed earlier. If it's hormone-related, that could be part of it. Now I educate women on how to give them hope. I feel like now, my mission is to give women hope on the other side, because so many times, the biggest thing afterwards is, you know, they're finished with all their appointments. And it's like the rug has been pulled out from underneath them. And they don't have that security of another doctor's appointment. And they suffer from PTSD. So, my mission is to give them hope on the other side to have that daily, quiet time and have that meditation. I use my oils for meditation, I write in my prayer journal, I do a gratitude journal, and really focusing on what you're grateful for, instead of life's challenges, because life is definitely full of them. And if you focus on that, you're going to get more of that, if you focus on the positive, you're going to get more positive. So, my mission is to give them hope, and to let my faith be bigger than my fear, do not worry when I go for an appointment and worry that it has come back. So that's what I'm there for. 

 
Mariana 31:42   

You're speaking my language, I'm smiling. Because, you know, gratitude is added. That’s what I wake up to, that's the first thing that I do in the morning - gratitude practice. And it’s just so important. So, for those of you that haven't started your gratitude practice, it’s time. And I had done so many email letters and, and videos about gratitude. Gratitude practice, and, you know, I’m a mindfulness meditation teacher as well. So that is just so close to my heart and one of the things that I preach is prevention. I have been there, when you are stressed, when you don't ask for help but you know that something is wrong. But you know, that you are getting into that burnt out place. You know, when you were traveling and all the kids, and all that, you're not thinking you're just going, going, going, until something happens. And then you realize. So, we are here to teach those people, to be intentional with what we do, so hopefully people can model the same. So, we are modeling and they are watching. 

 

Christie 33:15   

And let me just tell you really quick, I did a reel yesterday on Instagram, just like my morning routine. And yeah, I shared my prayer journal and my gratitude journal, because it's how I start my day. 

 

Mariana 33:27   

Yeah, they will get to see it when we tag you on Instagram for this episode. You mentioned, “This is what I teach my fellow cancer survivors”. So how did you serve them? How did you support them? After they had gone through it? 
 

Christie 33:53   

It's funny, because you know, it's been almost 12 years since I had breast cancer. And I walked it, I survived. And I went 10 years without doing anything for breast cancer survivors. And it was actually when I decided to take my business online. And they said, “Who are you speaking to?”, And I decided, you know, breast cancer survivors, I was ready to, that's what God put on my heart was helping breast cancer survivors, because I had let it go. It was one of those things and I'm like, I knew I needed that time away from it, to heal myself, and figure out who I was, and be grateful, and discover how I could help breast cancer survivors. So about three years ago, I started a breast cancer survivor group, and I have since moved on to Instagram and Clubhouse. And I feel like I can reach more people using social media in that way. And I have so many women that are reaching out to me and so many amazing women on Clubhouse that I've met who were trying to give back to the breast cancer community as well. So, I teach them how to use essential oils in my private Facebook group and then just sharing information on Instagram. Like this week, this whole month, I'm talking about simple swaps, things that you can do, products that you can switch out. Just making sure that what you're using is clean so that you're not exposing yourself. So, education, you know, I'm an educator so I'm constantly trying to educate other women, and you know, when you know better you do better. 
 

Mariana 35:42   

Yeah, you need to check my CBD produce as well in my web. 

 

Christie 35:51   

And I personally don't use CBD. But I've heard so many good things about it. And we use tons of other essential oils, but I haven't used CBD.  
 

Mariana 36:01   

I wasn't a believer until I brought Susan to the podcast, so I will tell you behind the scenes about it. Super excited about what you do with breast cancer survivors. You know, some of the things that I always look at is people that go through trauma. To me, having cancer can be traumatizing. Imagine getting the news, and then going through it. And I'm grateful that you're here and that you survived, and that you are healthy that we can have this conversation. And you can now add so much value to these women who deserve to live a healthy and happy life with their family. And continue to drive whatever they do.  

 

Christie 36:56   

Like I said, my mission is to give them hope. Because you know, 12 years out and I'm here to give them hope on the other side. It doesn't have to define you; you can be better instead of bitter. Let it be that second chance, like “God, thank you for the second chance, what are some things in my life that I need to change?” It gives you a chance to reflect. I practice self-care, next week I'm going to get a massage and a facial and I make that a priority - taking care of myself. Then I do a better job of taking care of others. 
 

Mariana 37:29   

Yes, that's definitely one part of self-care. 
 

Christie 37:39   

On weekends, I'm not on social media as much, because I just need that time to disconnect and fill up my tank. 

 

Mariana 37:49   

Absolutely, that quiet time is very important. One thing that I want to ask you, I have two questions: What advice would you give to another Christie that had just found out she has breast cancer? 
 

Christie 38:13   

So I would tell her, it's going to be okay, first of all. Take your time researching and deciding what treatment plan you're going to do. Because I think oftentimes the medical community tries to put you in that fear, like you act out of fear, and nothing good happens from making decisions when you're in that fear. And let other people help you. Because they want to. Don't be afraid to ask for help, or if people offer to, accept it. 

 

Mariana 38:50   

Yeah, that's it. You know that's beautiful. Because I always tell people ask for help, that's okay you know, because I was one of those and it's still hard for me to ask for help, and to ask people for something because you feel like a you can do it. Like “yeah, I got this.” 
 

Christie 39:11   

We’re moms, and wives… 

 

Mariana 39:15   

Yeah, we are super women. We drive, we work, we do this, we do that. It’s okay to ask for help. And my other question, my last question, Christie… 

 

Christie 39:30   

Wait let me add one other thing, because I didn't do this journal during that time. Not only a gratitude journal, but write out your feelings because you're going to be able to go back and realize how far you've come. I didn't do that and I wish that I had.  
 

Mariana 39:51   

Yeah, write down your feelings, how you going through it, what you are feeling in each stage of the process. So, you're going to be okay. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Write down your feelings in a journal. So, this podcast is called Mindfully Recharged. What advice would you give my audience? You know, besides everything that I tell them what to do, I'm always preaching to them. What advice would you give them to mindfully recharge themselves? 
 

Christie 40:32 

To make self-care a priority, live intentionally. Self-care is like, life. It’s not being selfish, but it’s helping you help other people. I have four children and may have lots of excuses. I made going out with my husband - dating my husband a priority, and always made taking care of myself a priority. 

 

Mariana 41:08 

Beautiful. Well, we’re going to have the show notes that will have your bio, and we will tag you on Instagram, and all social medias. Where else can they find you? What is your website? 

 

Christie 41:23 

I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and my website is christiemcconnon.com, it just takes you to my oil website. I don’t have another website because I have Instagram and Facebook, everything you need to know about me are right there.  
 

Mariana 41:40 

That’s right, perfect. This has been a beautiful conversation, I truly enjoyed it. I think that this will help a lot of people, and a lot of women that have gone through this or are going through this. Those who feel that they are alone or don’t have anyone to support them. Please make sure that you not only listen to this episode but also check the show notes and connect with Christie if you have any questions, the information is going to be there. I will be tagging her on our social media, so people know where to find you if they have questions. 
 

Christie 42:35 

Thank you for having me here. I really appreciate you letting me share my story and be that voice for other breast cancer survivors to give them hope because there truly is hope on the other side and I’d love to help you. Just reach out to me and I’m there to offer support, lend a listening ear, and you know, however you need help.  
 

Mariana 42:59 

Thank you, Christie, she’s the real deal. I have spent some quality time with Christie, you know I don’t just bring anyone to the episode, just because I really have to trust the person and I have to have that connection. So that they can be a voice to many. Once again, my friend, I’m grateful for you, thank you. 
 

Christie 43:27 

Thank you for having me and I look forward to hearing this episode and hearing all of your other ones. I’ve been listening to them on my way to school. Thank you for sharing your heart and voice because I know that you’re making a difference. Not only on your podcast but in Clubhouse, I get on there and I’m like “Mariana’s there”. You are making an impact there, my friend. So, thank you. 
 

Mariana 43:52 

Thank you, you are a blessing and I’m just grateful to have you in my life. I’m just grateful that the Clubhouse family brought us together. So, thank you so much everyone, have a beautiful rest of the day, wherever you are listening to this episode, I’m sending you love and light, and don’t forget to share with your friends and family. And I will see you or hear you on the next episode. Have a beautiful time, everyone. Bye. 

 

Closing 44:28 

Thank you for listening, everyone. And don't forget to go to the show notes and click to download your free Mindful and Energetic Living Guide. Also, don't forget to share this podcast with your friends, families, and everyone out there. I want to get this out there to everyone. So, thank you for your support, and I'll see you next week.