Brooksville, Florida -- A Brooksville woman is about to embark on a new journey as she inspires other breast cancer survivors to not only live, but thrive.
Hundreds of women from all over the world are about to sail the high seas onboard Carnival's Liberty. For one of breast cancer survivors taking the trip, it's bringing her fight full circle.
Carole Sanek's husband told her "'Congratulations, you're one of five finalists in the Amoena USA Breast Cancer Thriver Cruise Contest.' I just about fell through the floor. I mean, this is not... I don't win things. I'm the giver-outer, not the taker-inner."
Carole entered the contest through Facebook after her husband, Larry, wrote an essay telling her story. Ironically, when Carole was first diagnosed 18 years ago, she was single and battling cancer alone.
"Luckily for me, I had a very small breast cancer, and I was able to have breast conserving surgery in the form of a lumpectomy, followed by radiation and Tamoxifen. But still, to have to have that on your shoulders all by yourself when I thought I was really a strong woman, oh no. You know, it's not anything I ever would want any of my friends to have to face. And that is kind of when the wheels started in motion for me in becoming a breast cancer activist," Carole said.
She has taken on Race for the Cure, the Breast Cancer 3-Day and used her past experience as an oncology nurse to help teach women how to do a breast self-exam. Now through her blog, she's coaching women how to take their next step.
"They're still stuck at the point of hearing you have breast cancer, and I'm afraid to move off of that spot of the game board. [They think] 'I'm afraid to spin the dial or roll the dice or whatever and move because if I do and I start something new, or I start to revive and I start to survive and I even hit the thrive mark, I might only have a short period of time,'" Carole said.
She hopes to help move these survivors off of that game board space and into the game of life.
"You got to be proactive, you gotta take care. You gotta listen to your body. You have to. Your body's always trying to tell you something, and when you listen, you can usually be the winner. And that's what we want to be, we wanna be winners. We want to still be around. We want to thrive," Carole said.
She suggests if you're afraid to get a mammogram, to grab some of your girlfriends and go out to lunch, shop, and make a party out of it to celebrate that you got one.
To follow Carole's blog, click here for a link.
She also has a Facebook page set up, that you can visit by clicking here.
Libby Hendren, 10 News