An Awakening: Surviving Cancer and Providing Inspiration

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back, I reacted like most who receive a cancer diagnosis: The first thing that came to mind was "death sentence." However, I found out later that it was truly "an awakening" for me; even after being diagnosed with colon cancer a few years later. I began questioning God: Why would you do this to me? What had I done to have this thrown upon me? But instead of bemoaning my fate, I decided to look for the positive side of it. There has to be a reason for it all.

I also realized that I was about to face a new beginning with a hope to do and see more with a whole new prospective on life. When I think of the "gift of life" that was given to me, I know that I will develop and gain strength from all my experiences. Even with the complications I now have to live with, I still feel truly blessed. For a while, I wasn't happy with the way I looked after my surgery and the pain I had to endure each day, but I decided to snap out of it. I thought of the individuals that are no longer among us. I also realized that there will always be someone worse off than I am. I reminded myself, that I still have my life — and who am I to complain?

One day, I experienced something of a miracle and felt the compulsion to write it down. I turned that experience into a poem and called it "Peace." Writing has become therapy for me. I took that poem, along with many others I had composed during my breast cancer period and made a book. I was blessed enough to have that book published. I later had another inspirational children's book publish and there’s a third on the way. It’s my hope that anyone who reads my poems can get out of them what I placed into all of them. I wish to make a positive impact on the life of someone who's ill or otherwise — I hope they can develop the strength to embrace life in a whole new way.

I never anticipated becoming a writer, I just became one. I truly believe that when you survive a horrific tragedy or a horrible disease, it's for a reason.

I believe I’m an example that you can survive cancer while maintaining faith and allowing that faith to direct your path. I'm not saying all will be easy and I won't say everyone will survive it. As you embark on such a journey, fight with all your might and believe that no matter what, God is with you every step of the way!

- Karen Rice, two-time cancer survivor and author