I’ve never been much of an advocate. I’d dabbled in causes but not really adopted them. I’ve adopted others briefly only to leave them in the dust. I went through the Earth Day phase and the Take Our Daughter to Work phase (an attempt at faux feminism), but these were fleeting and I was a woman without a cause. At times it bothered me as I pondered the grand and somewhat grandiose questions of the meaning of life. The spiritual side of me said that there was greater meaning than earning a paycheck and striving for a pension. The flip side of me said that being that I was one of billions on Planet Earth, it would be most practical to simply focus on the things I could control and change. Perhaps making a difference meant focusing on my own back yard. Besides who really cared? There were plenty of people who went about life without a cause. The older I got the many more NIMBYs (Not In My BackYard) I knew. And then a year and a half ago I was struck with the unthinkable, a mega curveball—a lump in the left breast. In three months I was diagnosed and successfully treated. Life was good, I could move on, right? “It is over and done with, as far as I’m concerned you are cancer free,” the husband says. He is right. Every time I go through another routine six month exam with the oncologist or the breast surgeon it’s like I have a second lease on life, but that isn’t enough, I feel like I should do more. On the bright and blessed side, I am now a woman with a cause. Who would have thought. I now find myself excited and eager to “make a difference.” I went through a young advocate training with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a U.S. non-profit that educates women about breast cancer. I volunteered to be a panelist for an upcoming breast cancer conference targeted at young women. I enthusiastically signed up for the “Pink Thrivers Cruise,” which takes myself and hundreds of other survivors on a cruise a la Love Boat-style from southern California into Mexico (hey nothing wrong with offsetting the seriousness of cancer with a little fun). I share these things not to boast or brag, but to note that in surviving and living with cancer I feel a great urge to remain in the mix and idealistically make a difference. The other day I received a call from a volunteer at the Susan G. Komen Foundation who asked if I would sign up again for the annual 5K Race for the Cure. “Yes, of course I will,” I said. How could I say no? Being an accidental activist for a cause I’d never imagined is both a curse and a blessing. A curse in that I can never totally forget my own ordeal. A blessing in that I have a purpose and that feels good. It is in this spirit that I board the grand cruise ship in my festive flowery dress and pink bling. Do these acts truly make a difference? Do they extend my cancer-free existence? Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe I was overthinking it and I simply needed to take a step back and enjoy believing that advocacy starting with one person mattered. Maybe it was all about just enjoying the moment, advocate or not.