After a series of multiple cancer diagnoses, it is only natural for a person’s faith to be challenged. Karen Rice knows this first hand. First, it was breast cancer, and then colon cancer. Through it all her faith waivered but ultimately was strengthened. “I got through my cancer by my faith in God,” Karen said. “That’s really the truth.”
At first, Karen, like anyone would be, was angry about her diagnosis. She questioned why her at first, but ultimately came to accept her diagnosis and trust God would take care of her.
“I just held on to my faith and after fighting cancer the first time I knew I could fight it again,” Karen said. “I wasn’t giving up nor was I ready to go.”
Prior to her cancer diagnosis, Karen believed in God but she didn’t have a strong faith. She grew up in church. Her father was even a Baptist minister. Karen said she always knew God and believed in Him, but with the busyness of life her faith was put on the backburner.
“We forget about him until we need him and that was me,” Karen said. “Having cancer and surviving it brings a newness to your life though.”
Her cancer diagnoses were a wake-up call. Things that once seemed like a big deal to Karen suddenly shrank in comparison to her diagnosis. Karen began to appreciate the life she had been given and the blessings she had in front of her.
“It woke me up to real life – a life really worth living,” Karen said. “I would never say having cancer is a blessing or a gift but it did bless me. Surviving it though is where the real gift comes in – with a new outlook on life.”
The treatments for both her breast cancer and colon cancer were not easy. She relied on her faith and prayer to get her through. Even at times when she felt alone, Karen knew God held her in the palm of His hands and He was by her side through it all.
From her journey with cancer, Karen also had to come to grips with what true beauty was. Having multiple surgeries on her body forced her to come to the realization that her body would never look perfect again. She embraced it as her own kind of beauty though.
“I’ve always felt beautiful, but now I am beautiful in a unique way,” Karen said. “My uniqueness is what makes me stand out from everyone else. So with all the surgeries and all of the pulling and taking of my skin from here and there, I am still beautiful. It comes from the inside out and the way you carry yourself.”
It has now been over 10 years since her breast cancer diagnosis, and seven years since her colon cancer diagnosis. Karen is now living her life to the fullest with a strong faith and truly beautiful image of herself.
Karen Rice in 2017 while battling cancer | Karen Rice in 2018 after battling cancer.
Karen believes she survived cancer not once but twice for a reason. From her experiences, Karen has written two inspirational books, “True Simple Poems of Life, Faith and Survival” and “If Only I could Fly, said Mattie-bee.” She also has a third on the way “I Will Not Die, Before I’m Dead.”
Karen has learned a lot about faith and true beauty. She wants to use her cancer journey to impact the lives of others. She hopes she can pass on what she has learned to people walking a similar journey.
“I love sharing my experiences with others,” Karen said. “This is my passion and my purpose now. I wish to make a positive impact on someone, whether they are ill or not, so they can proceed in life in a whole new way.”