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Transformation Tuesday: Two-Time Cancer Survivor

Karen Rice is a two-time cancer survivor who enjoys reading sites/magazines about health, survivors, and happiness. She feels that October is not the only month to recognize cancer and the survivors of the disease. “The thing about cancer, it doesn’t have a certain time. It could appear any month, day, hour, or minute, nor does it have an age limit. My story is a year-around inspirational one. It could be shared anytime,” says Karen.

 

 

Christina: How would you describe your SwagHer? What makes Karen, Karen?

Karen: I would have to say, if I had to answer to explain my SwagHer, I would have to say. First, I’m very confident in who I am, and I walk and carry myself that way. No one can say anything to break that, I know myself, and I’m worth it, you can’t tear me down with your words. I’ve gone through too much in my life, which has caused me to become a much stronger woman, and I will not allow anyone to take that away.

Christina: What type of cancer did you have and what stage were you in both times?

Karen: I was diagnosed with breast cancer and colon cancer a few years later. My breast cancer was pretty early, and it was in stage one. My colon cancer was in a much more aggressive stage, stage three, with stage four being the last and most serious stage.

Christina: What or Who helped you keep positive during your treatment?

Karen: I will have to say God, above, along with the love and help of my only daughter, as well as her giving me two grandchildren along these times, kept me positive. I had reasons to go on, and I feel those were the main reason I’m still here today.

Christina: What advice would you give to someone who just found out that had cancer?

Karen: I would say first, it’s not always a death sentence, because, with most cancer patients, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. Not saying everyone will survive it, because that will be so far from the truth. Get your patience and nerve up to explain it to your family, as gentle as possible, because some will not understand. You don’t understand why it’s you. Then pray, pray like you’ve never prayed before, and believe. Continue living your life during this ordeal; try not to allow it to take away your joy if you’re able. Try to have positive people around you that will help you enjoy yourself, possibly forgetting for a moment what you’re going through, and at times it will be hard, but try to stay positive, it can be done. Focus on a good outcome, and make new plans for afterward. And remember this for sure, when you’re at your weakest, cancer is at its strongest, trying hard to take you down, so there’s no reason not to fight. Just as you would fight to defend yourself and your loved ones, fight now, but fight harder.

Christina: Did you have to have a mastectomy? 

Karen: Yes, I did, and I then had what they call tram flap reconstruction surgery immediately afterward.

Christina: Is being an inspiration the only reason why you want to share your story?

Karen: Indeed, it is. It’s the only reason. I feel that what I went through may help another, even if it’s only one person, I’ve given that person hope and have inspired them to carry on in the midst of it all. Don’t give up. I genuinely feel that when you embark on such a horrific disease, such as cancer, and yet you survive it, there’s a reason, and I feel that this is one of the reasons I’m still here: share my story.

Christina: As a two-time breast cancer survivor, what would you tell someone who has just found out they have cancer a second time?

Karen: I would tell them to get ready to fight as you did the first time. You have nothing to lose. Please speak with your MD right away and let him/her know you’re ready to battle for the long haul, and you’re ready. Been there, done that, you don’t want to waste a moment, let’s do this!

Christina: How did your journey with cancer affect your family?

Karen: I will have to say, the only one I was genuinely concerned about it affecting was my daughter, and I felt that she took it quite well, or at least she didn’t show it any other way. As I explained it to her, I tried to stay calm to show her that I wasn’t too afraid. I explained how I knew that I was going to make it through this, and I think that assured her somewhat. Yes, she was very concerned if I would make it or not, who wouldn’t be, if they love you? Together we got through it amazingly, she was my backbone in this, kept me going, and smiling, gave me many enjoyable, unspeakable moments. Adding to that joy, she gave me the greatest joy ever, my grandchildren around this same time. So I had plenty of times to laugh, enjoy, and forget, plenty of times to be grateful!

 

Connect With Karen Below:

Instagram: Karen Rice

Facebook: Karen Mims

LinkedIn: Karen Rice

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