An Awakening

Karen's journey caused her to think with a new perspective, to her -- and our -- benefit.

Reader Karen Rice, a 2-time cancer survivor in Houston, Texas, wrote to Amoena and asked us to share her Real Life story. We were inspired and we hope you will be, too!

Karen Rice breast cancer survivor

When I was told I had breast cancer a few years back, I began questioning God: “Why would you do this to me? What had I done in life to have this burden placed upon me?" I realized later that it was truly an awakening for me. There has to be a reason for it all. I've passed those five years for my first cancer and now instead of bemoaning my fate, I look for the positive side of it.
I’ve learned to face everything as a new beginning – to do and see more, with a whole new perspective on life. When I think of the gift of life that was given to me, I know that I will develop and gain strength from all my experiences. After breast cancer, I was left with what the doctors called neuropathic pain; a severe nerve damage diagnosis. The pain is usually with you all day; and at times it is worse than others. Later I was diagnosed with lymphedema. At every new diagnosis, I just kept smiling and saying to myself, “Oh, lucky me.” For a while, I wasn't happy with the way I looked around my breast area after my first surgery, nor the pain I had to endure each day, but I decided to snap out of it. Even after being diagnosed with another cancer (colon) a few years later. That one totally took me by surprise. “I already had my time with cancer,” I thought to myself. “Why another one?” I even made jokes at times, while crying inside, “What am I, the cancer carrier?” But even with the pain I had to endure through each diagnosis, and all the struggles I've dealt with all my life, I still feel truly blessed. I remind myself that I still have my life – who am I to complain?
During one of my surgeries, I experienced something of a miracle and felt the compulsion to write it down. I turned that experience into a poem and called it “Peace.” Writing has become therapy for me. I took that poem, along with many others I had composed during my breast cancer period and placed them into book form. I was blessed enough to have that book published, and it's titled, True Simple Poems of Life, Faith and Survival. I later had another inspirational children's book published and I'm working on my third. I'm hoping that anyone who has the opportunity to read my poems feels inspired. My poems are from the heart, as real as any could ever be. With the words and phrases of each poem or statement, I wish to make a positive impact on someone who’s ill or otherwise, so they can develop the strength to embrace life in a whole new way. I never anticipated becoming a writer, I just became one. I truly believe when you survive a horrific tragedy or a horrible disease as cancer, it's for a reason, you have a purpose -- and I want to live to find out exactly what that is for me.

Karen has worn comfortable, breathable Amoena Headscarves. Have you seen the new styles available?

That's what I'm all about now: Inspiration. I'm a true example that you can survive cancer not once, but twice, providing you catch it in time, have faith and allow that faith to direct your path. I've not saying all will be easy, but you must believe.