Survivor Stories: Gayle Carson
How did you first find out you had cancer?
All three times my cancer was found with a mammogram.
How did you react when you heard the news?
The first time I was unbelieving, but I sprang into action right away, seeing three doctors in one day and reading everything I could. The second time I thought, “again?” Even though it was smaller, it was worse. And the third time, it was the smallest but the most devastating. I was very calm but went through radiation twice a day and chemotherapy, but I never got sick or tired. I continued to work out and started a new business.
What course of treatment were you prescribed?
The first time, I had a lumpectomy and radiation; the second, a mastectomy; and the third time a mastectomy, radiation, and chemo.
What most surprised you about your treatment?
I expected much worse reactions, but in each case nothing happened. I believe it was because I am very strong in mind and body and continued with all my activities.
What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
I would tell them all to get a mastectomy on both sides and reconstruction.
How long have you been cancer free?
Although still on medication, I have been cancer free for seven years.
What lessons did you learn from the experience?
The thing I learned from this experience is that prevention is the key. If you catch something early, you can usually deal with it and heal it.
If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
If I could send a message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there I would say love yourself and the people around you, take care of yourself first so that you are of value to others, and find out the passion in your soul so you can provide it to others.
Gayle Carson is an expert advisor and coach to CEOs and entrepreneurial managers around the world and holds a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) and CMC (Certified Management Consultant), the highest designations in their respective fields. She is the first and only woman to serve as chair of one of the largest Better Business Bureaus and developer of the cable TV series Business Today. She has received numerous peer honors, is named to over 50 “Who’s Who” books, and has been featured in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and has appeared on the Larry King radio show, as well as ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.
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