07/18/2014 05:46 pm ET Updated Sep 17, 2014

Health Is the Real Wealth

As a 14-year-old girl with an single mother who was alcoholic, violent and abusive, I would hide under the covers of my bed and envision a very different life. One of my escapes was to dig my nails into the palm of my hand to keep me focused on the life I was going to lead.

To this day, even as a successful business owner with four office real estate company, a social and charitable website and a public speaker, I still find myself gripping my phone or my steering wheel, with the same vice-like grip.

Being a believer in positive thinking and action, determined not to be a "victim" -- I have lived my life with passion and determination. Maintaining a "vision board," constantly updating my goals and dreams I focused on the obvious -- financial success, a happy marriage and happy kids. Never once did I consider good health, I took it for granted, something I already had.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, I underwent a double mastectomy, chemo and reconstruction surgery; it hit me -- good health was something to be thought about, to plan for and to work towards.

I don't believe that I had done anything wrong that brought the cancer on, I believe it is random; but I do know that I can take better care of myself and in making choices everyday that are healthier. Both physically such as exercise and nutritional, but also I avoid stress. I have the same problems as any other person, especially a business owner, but I no longer allow that day-to-day stress to overwhelm me, I do my best and then I let it go. I spend more time being in the moment, none of us know when our last moment might be.