Faces of Survival: Karen Swenson

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KAREN SWENSON

FAMILY: Steve, my wonderful husband of 39 years; eight terrific grown children; nine precious grands -- eight boys and one girl.

OCCUPATION: Social worker

DIAGNOSED: Oct. 30, 2003

WHAT HELPED: My faith, family and friends. I also had friends in the medical field who answered my questions and listened as I worked through the challenge I was facing. As I researched, they were there to help me sort through the info. The love of my family and friends was remarkable. It didn't make me feel sad, but victorious.

OUTLOOK: I owned my cancer and my recovery. Also, I didn't immediately make decisions regarding my treatment. I researched, talked, prayed, then decided. It made me feel less like a victim and more like a fighter.

ADVICE: Don't be afraid to be real! It's not like we let it all hang out to everyone, but I had to be real with the people I trusted and loved. Mostly that was positive outlook and hope. But some days it was fear and pain. It was not a time for me to put on some front that was insincere and then be swallowed up by loneliness and self-pity. Being real and trusting in the Lord kept me balanced. And, believe it or not, I laughed ... a lot!

PERSONAL: It was important to me to journal. I was able to express my deepest thoughts and emotions. It was an invaluable outlet and now a priceless memory. Also, being assertive with the doctors was important. I couldn't just become totally passive and feel I didn't have a say in my own recovery and survival. I trusted their knowledge, but I felt it important to voice my questions, doubts and concerns.

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

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RhondaAllDay365
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RhondaAllDay365 10/13/08 - 08:59 am
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h-o-o-r-a-y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

h-o-o-r-a-y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fiat_Lux
15080
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Fiat_Lux 10/13/08 - 03:30 pm
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Completely awesome lady who,

Completely awesome lady who, with her amazing husband, raised some of the most talented and interesting children on the planet. So much love and laughter! What a great example of what life can be.

GLMUIR
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GLMUIR 10/13/08 - 06:22 pm
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You go Karen!!! WE are proud

You go Karen!!! WE are proud of you!!!

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