Courageous Cougar Speaks Out About Her Breast Cancer

Courageous cougar Breast cancer awareness month is drawing to a close. I do not have breast cancer but MaryK Kohlman, one of the fabulous females in my Real Cougar community isn't so fortunate. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and has gone through a series of radiation treatments.  MaryK  is one of the most positive people I know and can serve as a role model for all women. She says, "some people might say I am burying my head in the sand, but I believe maintaining my positive energy is crucial for getting well."

Yesterday, MaryK sent me an email.  It contains an important message so I wanted to share it with you.  In my opinion, her advice is right on, but decide for yourself.  Here's what she said:-

"Linda could you do me a favor?  Tell people the appropriate way to respond when someone they know and care about has cancer. It seems to me, people can't wait to tell you the horrible details of someone that died or struggled with the disease.

Believe me when I tell you, we don't want to hear about those gory details. Here's an example. I had lunch with several women the other day. One of my friends had breast cancer and it has returned.  She is now preparing to undergo a double mastectomy. The ladies couldn't wait to tell her about the pain of reconstruction and the horror that she would face. I could immediately see my friends attitude change as she was hearing their gut wrenching stories.

Linda, you know me…lol, I had to speak up.  I said,"look at this as a cosmetic procedure and when you are through you will have beautiful breasts that are perky and just the right size".  I totally believe in focusing on the positive. I wish others would do the same. I am not saying it might not be difficult, but good lord we don't want to focus on the pain – it makes us feel dreadful.  When I was going through radiation I just made believe that I was heading to the beach. I think that really helped and I didn't have any of the dreaded symptoms that everyone said I would."

MaryK, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important health issue. This courageous lady was gracious enough to talk about her experience with breast cancer in my book Don't Ever Call Me Ma'am!  She is beautiful, brave and knows what it means to be a Real Cougar. 


3 thoughts on “Courageous Cougar Speaks Out About Her Breast Cancer

  1. I too was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. The type I had was very rare, inflammatory, and very aggressive. Consequently, I had to undergo chemotherapy treatments within two weeks of being diagnosed. After 4-5 months of treatment, I underwent surgery for a double mastectomy and began the process for reconstruction. My last surgery is almost upon us and I am so excited about the aspect of putting some of this behind me.
    I am an extremely positive person. I never looked upon my diagnosis as a death call but rather an opportunity to learn and/or teach others in some way. Initially my friends and family would become very teary-eyed. They thought that I was going to die because my cancer was so aggressive. I can say that everyone's intentions were always so meaningful. I found that, throughout it all, I had to become the stronger one. I needed to help everyone else be strong and get through this with me. So tears aside, I taught them to be positive by watching me be positive. I taught them that true strength comes from within and builds off of the love I got from others. As I became stronger, they became stronger.
    My father once commented that he realized early on that I was making decisions and reacting in certain ways to protect everyone else. You see, if you are weak around me then I begin to worry about you. If you are strong, then I can focus on myself and getting well. So strength is one important thing I taught them.
    I epitomize true health today. I will always be a changed woman because of what I endured. I also will be a better woman for who I became. So any time someone responds to a circumstance in a way that appears less than positive, it's an opportunity to help them learn how to be stronger. In the end, they will cherish you even more for who you became to them throughout the journey and thereafter.

  2. Kimberly, loved your message and I hope everyone takes it to heart and spreads it to others. You are the kind of person I love to have in my life and luckily I know a couple. God bless you and may you remain healthy mind and body.

  3. Hi Mary! I'm glad you have maintained being positive and not held back because Breast Cancer, there are lot's of testimony in the web that having a positive outlook in life despite having the disease will kill the cancer cells itself. Keep it up and share the inspiration to others.

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