I Love Life: A Cancer Survivor Shares Her Story
Just like so many of us, Laura Clark Hansen wears a lot of hats: she's an actress and a playwright. She's a powerful inspirational speaker, and a passionate teacher. And at this point in her life she's donned the most important hat she's ever worn---that of cancer survivor and ovarian cancer awareness educator.
Here's what Laura shared with me during our "I Love Life" interview:
"I woke up from surgery to my surgeon's face just smiling and looking a bit apprehensive. I knew immediately. She said you have ovarian cancer. My whole world stopped!"
Instead of withdrawing from life, Laura reached out to others. "For awhile I wanted to just drift with it and then I made a decision to get professional help. I got involved in group therapy. I did some one on one oncology therapy. I did psycho therapy. I did music therapy. I even did retail therapy. All of these things kind of contributed to my recovery as I reached out!"
Laura also surrounded herself with positive people. "I actually asked people to be positive around me. I asked them to focus on hope as opposed to despair."
As she recovered from the cancer, Laura learned a powerful lesson: happiness is a choice! "We can cultivate and work on that sense of joy that grace gives us. We then continue to nurture."
Now cancer free, Laura says life has taken on a whole new meaning. "I am cancer free today which is such a blessing when you look at some of the statistics. Women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are living longer. They call it progression free survival. We're living longer with fewer symptoms. I'm blessed with the knowledge that the cancer has not returned and that's been 7 and a half years. I just take every day as a gift."
With Laura Clark Hansen, a real survivor who is making a difference, I'm Jerry Dahmen.