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SHARI – BREAST CANCER

Shari - Bodies of Courage Bodypainted Cancer Survivors

Long distance bicycling is my thing!
I added golf to my athletic agenda to enjoy it with my husband.
My breast was sore after adopting a new golf swing.
Although I had always done monthly self breast exams, I questioned if I could have been even more thorough.
I found the lump myself, got tested, and received the breast cancer diagnosis from my doctor.
The Baccalaureate trained Registered Nurse in me took over and I was very logical.
Days later the fear crept in, and then later, the tears.

I was not alone. Even though my sisters were not nearby, I had others who were.
My beloved husband was my primary source of encouragement and love through out my treatment period.
He still is.
I was going to forgo all treatments, and enjoy the rest of my life, which I thought would be shortened by this disease because as a nurse I had seen cancer patients at the end of life in the hospital and had lost many friends and family members who were not helped by cancer treatments.
My husband introduced me to a handsome vibrant man at our golf club who had bravely faced his cancer treatments, and had stories to tell of thriving long term survivors!
He prayed with me right there on the golf course, and I decided to go for treatment.
In addition, I found that my cancer support group provided amazing examples of survival, camaraderie and information exchange leading to some very valuable and special relationships which I enjoy and value today.
How I value these “sisters” and other friends who have drawn near and dear to me!

I asked a lots and lots of questions..I questioned everything and every one..until I was satisfied!
For example, I interviewed several surgeons and chose one that best suited me.
At my request, my oncologist offered several treatment options.
This process felt very empowering.

In spite of breast surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, I was able to work full time, but it was the hardest thing I have ever done..and before treatment I had gone 100 miles on my bike in the mountains in one day!

My husband continues to show his support in so many ways.
Since my recovery, together we have chaired several large events for private individuals and for non profit agencies known for supporting research and providing services to cancer patients.
It feels good to know these efforts help others and help towards a cure!
We feel forever grateful to those who contribute their funds, skills, and time to these efforts along with us.

It took me a year after treatment to get back on the bike, and I am enjoying it!
I never did stop golfing throughout my treatment period, although some days I was in a fog!
Gratefully, the fog has lifted and I have to admit..I have never stopped trying for that hole in one!