So here’s what I know: time marches on, and the hard part will end. Laughter heals, even if there are tears. Connection & community are everything.
On January 8, 2017, I found myself in the emergency room with severe abdominal pain. A CT Scan and an ultrasound revealed a mass on my left ovary and something else the doctors couldn’t quite make out. It was large and black and obscuring all of my internal organs.
They told me they needed to look inside to see what was happening. It would be a 1-hour laparoscopic surgery leaving me with just 3-5 small incisions.
Five hours later, I awoke with staples from my navel to my pubic bone and a colostomy bag.
One week later, in the early morning, my doctor came in and told me that the pathology had returned and it was stage IV colon cancer.
I couldn’t believe it. I was in the best shape of my life!
Apparently, a tumor that had been growing for over seven years has finally perforated my colon. The large black mass on the CT scan was fecal matter filling up my abdomen.
The next 18 months would bring
I thought it would never end. The physical discomfort. The emotional pain. The humiliation. It seemed like every time I reached the “end” of one step, two more would take its place like a Hydra. I mean...seriously?!
So, I became a warrior.
One year later, I found myself sitting in Amsterdam, cancer free, starting my own company, engaged to an amazing man, and about to become a Grandma.
Cancer taught me to relish each day and not take my body, my life or the people I love for granted. Since cancer I have quit my 15-year career to start my coaching practice focused on helping others turn the crappy things that happen in life into their superpowers.
So here’s what I know: time marches on, and “it” will end. Laughter heals, even if there are tears. Connection & community are everything. You CAN...Keep Calm and Karey On!
Cancer has positively affected my life by giving me and my family true perspective. It enables you to become laser focused on what truly matters and prioritize those things daily.
As hard as this journey was/is, I am crazy enough to believe that every drop of chemo not only killed the bad/good cells, but it destroyed the imposter syndrome that held me back. I’m crazy enough to believe that every round of radiation burned off the pressure of perfectionism. I’m also crazy enough to believe that my struggle with anxiety was removed with every surgical excision. We all have crucible moments and turning points at unexpected times that have transformed us into our true selves. I am a better person because of my cancer journey.