After years of working in public relations at hospitals and other healthcare institutions, I was suddenly thrust into life as a patient. On February 4, 2008, I learned I had a recurrence of breast cancer–just months after my five-year, cancer-free anniversary.
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This time I was told it spread to distant lymph nodes and my liver. One doctor told me, “You could live two years or 20 years, but you’ll die from breast cancer.”
At first I was devastated, but soon got angry. How does she know how long I have to live? She doesn’t know me and how determined I am!
I needed to talk with other cancer survivors who didn’t accept doctors’ predictions–people who beat the odds. And I was determined to find out how they did it so I could do it myself. So, I started searching for “miracle survivors” nationwide for my book, From Incurable to Incredible: Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds.
I found them through reporter networks, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and mentioning my project to everyone I knew. I didn’t limit my search to breast cancer survivors; my only requirement was having a dire prognosis and an incredible drive to overcome it.
Their stories helped drown out my fears and negative thinking. I knew if they could do it, I could too. I wanted to share their inspirational stories with others.
I started this blog to find more stories and share them and things that have contributed to my health and changing outlook.
I feel as if I’m fulfilling God’s purpose for me through this work. It has taught me cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Like the people I’ve interviewed, cancer for me was the beginning of a new way of life; one of appreciation, hope, and discovering one’s potential.