We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Karen Rice. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Karen below.
Karen, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
The story behind my mission is to Inspire, give Hope, and give insight to know that cancer doesn’t always have to be a death sentence. I’m not saying you won’t feel hurt, frightened, disappointed, black-balled, wondering why you. At times you may lose control of your temper, not meaning to. All of these things will happen, you will go there. I’m also not saying all will survive it. What I’m saying is that, when you hear the word cancer, don’t immediately give up on life. It’s not the end, yet. You may live a many more years beyond that, but sometimes when we give up, that old thief named (cancer), that sneaks upon you unannounced, it will take over completely, if you let it. I had to allow it to interfere in my life not knowing what was the cause, but I dealt. It was hard, but I had to wake up one day and say to myself, I still have life and I’m going to live it until. This brought me to writing, sharing my story, my experiences to try and inspire others and show, you can go on during and after. Now I live my life in the way it should go, my way!
Karen, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I’m a two-time cancer survivor, who began to write due to the ordeal that was thrown at me. Something I had no choice at. I wasn’t asked if I wanted such a horrific disease called cancer, not once, but twice, So now, and even at my age of 65, I still have many decisions of my own, that I’m going to make from now on. Many opportunities I will attempt until I can’t. I’m going to live to the fullest of my ability. I was given that. I’ve written a couple books on my experiences, written poems to share of inspiration, faith, survivorship and dreams, to carry on no matter what. At 65yrs of age I’m modeling, yes I am. I also have something else in the making, but don’ t want to mention yet. I’m going all out, as far as I can. I didn’t survive to not.
My latest book “Cancer Yet Cancer again, but I Will Not die, Before I’m Dead”, meaning I’m not giving up until I have to. That time will come, but until, I’m living. My book can be purchased at BarnesandNoble; Books-A-Million and my publisher website Outskirt Press. I’ve also created Cancer Survivor products online at, www.zazzle.com/store/faithandsurvival_777, as well as www.karenrice.logosoftwear.com
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
When I was diagnosed with Breast cancer, I reacted the way many do; first thing came to mind was “a death sentence”. However, I found out later it was truly “an awakening” for me, especially when I received unwelcome news a few years later. I was diagnosed with colon cancer, yet I am still here to talk about them both. I first began asking, why, why me? What had I done so wrong in life to have this placed upon me? But suddenly, I knew that I was going to be OK.
I also realized that I was about to face a new beginning, new hope, do and see more with a whole new prospective on life. I was the “gift of life” twice over, so I knew that I would develop and gain strength from all my experiences. I would never say having or going through cancer is a gift, surviving it, receiving a second and third chance at life, is the gift. Yet, through it all, I did not allow the disease to take away who I am, or what I stand for. Even with all the current complications I now must live with, I still feel truly Blessed. For a while, I was not happy with the way I looked after my surgery. The hair loss, the scars, as well as the pain and complications I must live with daily. But one day I decided to snap out of it. I thought about the individuals, especially the much younger ones, who at times cannot leave the hospitals due to extreme treatments. I think about the ones who no longer with us. I also. realize that there will always be someone worse off than I am, so who am I to complain, “I still have my life”.
One day during one of my many surgeries, I experienced something so real, so peaceful, that I knew I had to write it down. I turned my experience into a poem, and I called it “Peace”. I took that poem, along with many others I had written during my Breast cancer period and placed it into book form and had it published, and I recently completed another one, titled “Cancer, Yet Cancer again, but I Will not Die, before I’m Dead.” I titled it that because, that is exactly how I felt when I heard the word cancer, I thought right away that my cancer diagnose was truly a death sentence, my life was over, everything about me was about to change, and it did. It made me appreciate, do things I have put off for years, and to live each day as if it is my last. I also learn not to worry about the trivial things, like my scars, losing part of my hair, at times my dignity. I have also learned not to blink twice on life, live it to the fullest. Through my tragedies and all that I had to endure, I received and gain all the strength and encouragement I needed to conquer.
I honestly believe when you survive a horrific tragedy or a horrible disease such as cancer, it is for a reason, you have a purpose and I want to live and find out exactly what that is for me. Right now, all I have is to share my experience, my faith and hope with others. The experiences I have had to endure is what gave me insight to form words to write. With the words and phrases, I formed into statements, I wish to make a positive impact on someone who is ill or otherwise hurting, hoping it gives them the strength to embrace their life in a whole new way. The scars that you will carry with you, is telling an untold story of survival, so there is nothing to be ashamed of. I am a true example that you can survive cancer, not once, but twice, if you get to it in time. I am not saying that it will be easy, and I am certainly not saying all will survive it, but have faith, fight with all you have, then hold on.
Two-time Cancer Survivor
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
Hoping to touch another. My experiences, the phrases of my poems, my story, my survivorship, I wishes to make a positive impact on someone who’s ill or otherwise, where they can proceed life in a whole new way. Give encouragement, a little push to try and see the other side of a bad situation you were dealt. Hope at times, can get you through the darkest times in life. Sometimes here is light at the end of the rainbow. I will never say it will be easy, but it may be necessary.
- Website: www.karensfaithandsurvivor77.shutterfly.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/@kmimsrice
- Facebook: karen.mims789
- Twitter: @KarenRi77930503
- Other: Pinterest.com.kmimsrice77/_created
All the pics are credited by myself, except the one that’s in the Coping With Cancer Magazine.