I was 39 years old when I was diagnosed with stage two colon cancer. A colonoscopy performed and biopsy completed to determine my diagnosis. Surgery was then performed to remove the tumor. I was on an oral form of chemotherapy for six months following my surgery. All this took place in Rapid City by the most outstanding medical facilities and professional medical staff including The Endoscopy Center. I’m truly blessed and thankful for all of them.
My biggest stance was to “Stay Strong”, “Be Positive”, and “Never Give Up”. Early screening and detection is very important, you’re never too young no matter what you may think. I thought I was too young and healthy for it to happen to me, but I sure was wrong.
It feels strange to say but I’m thankful for my struggle with cancer. Without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength. Fear was my immediate reaction but courage was my final decision. I’m not going to lie, it definitely wasn’t easy, but it was possible. I had many trying days when my family, friends and co-workers saw me struggle but they never saw me quit. I strongly believe that your hope has to be stronger than your fear.
Shortly after my amazing journey with cancer, I knew I had to make some lifestyle changes. I changed to healthier eating habits and I became a runner – simply because I refused to give up on myself. I’m a member of Black Hills Runners Club. Running is my Passion. It has been a big part of my healing process. I’ve completed a marathon, half-marathons and many 5K’s. I run with endurance, each race set before me with desire, dedication, and determination. It makes my heart happy to be on such an amazing journey that takes hard work and sacrifice. In the end, with family and friends by my side and with hope and faith within me – I am a survivor and proud of it.
Always remember to enjoy the simple things in life, love the ones that mean the most and be an inspiration to all. Live each day to the fullest and don’t take anything for granted.
Single mother of three wonderful children who have always been there with me and for me through it all. They truly are my strength and my whole world.