How One Patient With Cancer is Paying it Forward From ‘Chemo to Kindness’

In this episode of the “CURE Talks Cancer” podcast, we spoke with a patient who is receiving treatment for grade 3 triple-negative breast cancer. We talk about how a nurse’s question during a routine physical “saved her life”, and a kindness challenge she started to help lift her up during the dark days of treatment.

Lorelei Colbert and her military husband were preparing for a move to a base in Japan when a routine physical exam would eventually lead to a surprising diagnosis of grade 3 triple-negative breast cancer.

As a military spouse, Colbert said, the physical was to simply “check the box” that would indicate she didn’t need specialized care when the couple arrived at the new base thousands of miles away. During her exam, she asked the physician about birth control. After the physician – an OBGYN – looked at Colbert’s medical chart, the physician said she’d do a PAP smear but that a breast exam was not needed. However, the nurse who was in the room at the time questioned that decision. At that time, Colbert felt there was a reason the nurse was there and asked for her breasts to be examined.

The physician found a lump and after further tests, Colbert received her diagnosis in September. Since then, she has received several rounds of dose-dense chemotherapy. After coming to the realization that the chemotherapy journey was going to knock her down, she started the Chemo to Kindness Challenge to help lift her spirits while undergoing treatment and honor the nurse who, Colbert says, saved her life.

“The idea was to inspire others to do acts of kindness and tell me about it (and) lift me up by paying it forward to others,” she said in an interview with CURE®. “This is a really dark time in my life. What makes me the happiest; it's not going to be a gift. It's going to be knowing that you did something good in the world.”

To learn more about the Chemo to Kindness Challenge, and to share your act of kindness, visit loreleicolbert.com.