Be Proactive, Be Strong...   |   Friday, October 1, 2010

Education....we're educated from the time we're born, we are read to, sent to school and most times, off to college. We read, we study and we take tests; sometimes we pass, sometimes we fail, but through all of it, we learn something. Sometimes, it not necessarily what we set out to learn. Sometimes we learn something by accident or information that wasn't our original destination.
Colleen W. studies....she's been studying since her oldest sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer and then later the same year, with breast cancer. Learning about the BRCA gene mutations and being tested herself, Colleen decided to proactively have a hysterectomy, thinking she was educated and armed with information, she could intercept this "thing" and avoid her sister's experience.
BUT, when the pathology report came back, Colleen learned that she hadn't actually intercepted the cancer, it was already there and she began the fight of her life. Moving from New Mexico during her chemo, she felt "isolated and alone". Entrusting your treatment to a new cancer center and new oncologists, is a brave move. But, armed with information, she felt powerful and in charge. Now, on the other side of chemo, she's facing new decisions regarding her care and treatment... again, arming herself with information, she's making proactive decisions about the next step. Her words ring in my head, "Arm yourself with information, because information is power. When you have that kind of power, it is possible to what is necessary to keep yourself healthy and cancer free. Be proactive, be strong." In learning about her sister's cancer, Colleen discovered she had it too, but she's being proactive, still studying, still learning about HER cancer and how to aggressively fight it.
As a personal trainer, I'm sure that she'll use all of this experience to help other women she encounters, to educate those around her about her journey through cancer. "After being through it, it's not fun, but you can get through it. It's wonderful to be done." She's gorgeous on the inside and out... beaming energy and joy at being on the other side of this battle. You can see it on her face!

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Blogger RobinMSwartz said...

Thanks, Terri, for featuring Colleen here. She's a beautiful, strong woman, and you really captured that here. Her story is a powerful one. Thanks to both of you for sharing it.

October 1, 2010 at 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely portrayal of a lovely woman. . .
Colleen, we miss your beautiful smile here in NM on your "old street", and admire your courage and strength! love, Catherine S.

October 1, 2010 at 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...

I love this program, Colleen! They have portrayed your outer beauty and your inner strength, and told your story in an inspiring way--wonderful!
Love to you!

October 3, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

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