Cynthia Nixon details her cancer experience

While there are many inspiring aspects of my job as CURE's senior managing editor, one of my favorite moments of the year is attending CURE's Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing. This year's event honored three outstanding nurses who went above and beyond to help their patients. But the evening also pays tribute to all oncology nurses and how they encourage and sustain those on the cancer journey. At this year's event, the mistress of ceremonies was Cynthia Nixon who is known for her role as Miranda on "Sex and the City" and for countless other characters she has portrayed in plays, movies and television. Among her many awards are Emmys, a Tony, a Grammy and Golden Globes. All this is very admirable, no doubt, but I am also impressed by Nixon's advocacy as a breast cancer survivor. I had the opportunity to chat with Nixon for a few minutes before she went on to host the Extraordinary Healer event. She spoke openly about her breast cancer experience and shared details of her treatment. She also shared her mother's story, a two-time survivor who, after being first diagnosed with breast cancer, had to advocate for a lumpectomy over mastectomy during a time when lumpectomies were not common. And Nixon discussed the "Sex and the City" episodes in which Samantha had breast cancer. I asked Nixon if having cancer changed her life. She said, "It's so hard to know. I got cancer the year I turned 40. Turning 40 was a big deal for me, not necessarily in a bad way. It just felt like I had arrived at a real peak in my life--that I could look forward and I could look back. I had a big party and invited people from my past, my present, and people I didn't know well but always wanted to be friends with. And I feel like the cancer only added to that feeling--that we are not going to be here forever. Are you living your life the way you want it to be? What are the things you've always wanted to do or meant to do? You're still here, and you're 40. Why aren't you doing them? It sounds small but I started taking singing lessons, things like that, that really made me put my money where my mouth was. You can't constantly defer--at some point, you have to step up."To read the entire interview, click here. And tell us what you have "stepped up" to change in your life after cancer.