When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I reacted like most who receive this diagnosis. The first thing came to mind was a “death sentence.” I found out, however, that it was truly an “awakening” for me.
I asked God, “Why would you do this to me? What have I done in life that was so bad to have this placed upon me?” But then I decided to seek out the positive. There had to be a reason for it all.
I was about to face a new beginning and find new hope. I thought about the “gift of life” and knew I would develop strength from this experience. I would do and see more with a whole new perspective.
Struck by Lightning Twice?
I wasn’t happy with the way I looked after surgery, nor did I like the neuropathic pain I endured each day. But I decided to snap out of it. I had to snap out of it again after being diagnosed with another cancer (colon) a few years later. It took me by surprise, sort of like being struck by lightning twice. What were the odds of battling two different cancers in one body? I even made jokes, like “What am I, the cancer carrier?” I cried inside and sought, once again, the positive side of an illness.
And so the bottom line is this: There are individuals who are no longer among us… and I still have my life. Who am I to complain? Even with all the struggles, I still feel truly blessed.
I believe when you survive a disease as horrible as cancer, it’s for a reason – perhaps to share, encourage others, or just lead by example. For me, it is writing. One day during a surgery, I experienced something of a miracle – as if I went to the other side. Compelled to write it down, I turned that experience into a poem called “Peace.” I never anticipated becoming an author, but I placed that poem and many others into a book entitled “True Simple Poems of Life, Faith and Survival.”
I later wrote a children’s book and am working on my third. Hopefully anyone who reads my poems gets out of them what I placed in all of them. They are from the heart, as real as any could ever be. I wish to make a positive impact on someone who is ill so they can develop the strength to embrace life in a whole new way. That’s what I’m all about now, inspiration through words.
My life is a testimony that you can survive cancer not once, but twice, providing you catch it in time, have faith and allow that faith to direct your path. I’m not saying all will be easy, for I’ve had my moments from the beginning. But remember, there is always a purpose. Had I not gone through it, I would have never produced inspirational words to bless others.
By the way, my breast cancer wasn’t found by a mammogram. It was detected by an ultrasound. Either way, you must be tested, and no matter the outcome… be strong, deal with it, and believe.
About Karen Rice
As a two-time cancer survivor and author, Karen wants nothing more than to lift up women who face seemingly impossible odds. You can find her books on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Note from the Editor
We were so inspired by Karen’s journey that several of our magazine columnists met with her, including GiGi Lewis, Paige Holsapple and Steve Dyer. What an honor to shake the hand of this lovely woman of God and learn more about her positive outlook. Please pray for Karen’s continued health and healing.