I was working my network to be a back-up singer for John Mellencamp, another Hoosier transplant to crazy California, in 2005. I was giving it my best shot when it hit me: a cancer diagnosis on this date, that year.

‘Twenty feet from stardom” was not going to be a life path after all. I had a new stage to conquer: Stage 2b breast cancer.

2b or not 2b: life is a stage, but thriving was never a question.

I aimed 2 b well – and I am.