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“You are not famous enough to write a book about cancer.”

Although not phrased with those exact words, the inference was there. Loud and clear. From other bloggers. From publishing agents. From authors. From experts in the industry. They didn’t mean to be cruel, they wanted me to be realistic.

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For me, that summer of my despair became the summer of my determination, because I believed I could make a difference in the lives of others.

Have you ever seen that greeting card with a little girl on the front, standing tall, legs splayed open hands on her hips that reads, “She thought she could so she did.”

As a Michigander, I claimed this quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or your can’t, you’re right.” I thought I could and I did, and you can too.

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For me, that summer of my despair became the summer of my determination, because I believed I could make a difference in the lives of others.

Have you ever seen that greeting card with a little girl on the front, standing tall, legs splayed open hands on her hips that reads, “She thought she could so she did.”

As a Michigander, I claimed this quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or your can’t, you’re right.” I thought I could and I did, and you can too.

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It seemed like a lifetime, but about three months following diagnosis, I crawled out on all fours toward the light. I’m so grateful that I finally found my center of strength and clung to a spark of motivation to not only help myself, but to help others. That’s when I began to write about my experience with invasive breast cancer, something I absurdly believed I’d never have.

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Lending Color

Our Stories, Survivor February 22, 2017

I’ve also always sensed that I’d have to overcome a health hurdle in my 50s—and if I survived, I thought I’d live to be 88. The breast cancer experience didn’t feel as scary as I’d envisioned. I was back to life as usual and tried to figure out what having cancer was supposed to mean.

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Yet, as my mother used to say, “You can’t un-ring a bell.” I did contract ovarian cancer, and it taught me that all I had gone through with breast cancer was a walk in the park compared to the complexities and difficulties of treating ovarian cancer.

I was almost gone by the time ovarian cancer was diagnosed, and no one expected me to survive the first occurrence, much less all the recurrences that have followed. The surgeries, the complications, the chemotherapies – they all left me feeling flayed alive, stripped down layer by layer, and abandoned in heaps and piles all over a room I could not leave.

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