"None of us know how much time we have here on earth, so we need to treasure every moment and be thankful for every day that we get."
I was born in OKC, OK, the youngest of five children, and lived there for nine years. My family moved to Moore, OK in 1966 and a job promotion for my Dad brought us to Guthrie in October 1968.
I think what I enjoy most about living in Guthrie is that it is such a close-knit community, where people know you and genuinely care about you. As I have grown older, I have learned to appreciate and enjoy the historical value of our town.
One of my favorite Guthrie moments was my first GHS Football Homecoming Alumni Receptions and Program. It is so amazing how the student body and administration work together so well to put on such a wonderful homecoming for all the former GHS graduates. It makes you feel really proud to be part of the GHS legacy.
In the past I have done volunteer work in the community through Camp Fire USA, the Red Cross and through my church. Now that I am living in Downtown Guthrie, I would like to get more involved in working with some of the many festivals our town offers.
If I were to tell visitors one thing that they should do while visiting Guthrie, it would be to take the Historical Trolley Tour. It is a fun and relaxing way to learn a great deal about the history of our town.
I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer on Nov. 6, 2009 at the age of 52. It was detected at my yearly mammogram screening. When they called me back to come in for a biopsy, I just felt like it was going to be cancer, so I was not shocked when I received the call that said it was. I never asked "Why me?" I was just prepared to fight it with everything I had. I walked into my pastor's office immediately after receiving the news and asked to be put on the prayer list. I knew that whatever followed was in God's hands and turning it over to him gave me a feeling of peace. The hardest part for me was having to tell my family. I will never forget the looks of fear on my parents' faces. Their baby girl had cancer!
My family has a history of breast cancer on both my Mom's and Dad's sides, so I had the genetic testing done and I was happy that mine was not genetic, as I have three daughters.
The process of treatment for the cancer was really not that bad for me compared to what some women have to go through. I had a lumpectomy on my left breast, followed by radiation and then four rounds of chemotherapy. I was determined not to let cancer define me or take over my life. I had a very positive attitude and many, many people praying for me. I was very blessed to have such a loving and supportive church family during that time, as well as my own family. My sister from Texas baked cookies and cakes and brought them to Guthrie to sell to the guys my Dad had coffee with every morning to raise money for my wig.
I hardly ever think about having had cancer now, but it taught me a valuable lesson. None of us know how much time we have here on earth, so we need to treasure every moment and be thankful for every day that we get. I was a bit of a workaholic before cancer and now I take time for myself and don't believe my worth is in my work. I have three beautiful, healthy daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law and two perfect little grandsons I adore and I try to spend as much time with as possible.
I think the one thing I would want people to know about individuals with cancer is that they're just people. Even though it may be uncomfortable to be around them and you may not know the words to say, just being there and staying in touch with them is huge!
I have seen the Guthrie America tees on Facebook and I am just receiving my first one. I will wear it proudly and share my Guthrie pride with anyone who asks about Guthrie America.