A Breast Cancer Survivor's Story

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be a daily challenge for hundreds of thousands of women every day.

Well, we spoke to an Amarillo woman who tells us she wasn't going to let cancer bring her down.

It was just a typical morning for Karen Kriegshauser, until she noticed something that would potentially change her life forever.

She says, "I was shocked.  When it came to something like that I thought I was untouchable."

After getting out of the shower, Karen noticed a lump in her breast.

Since breast cancer doesn't run in her family, she thought, it couldn't be.

Well, after going to the doctor, she found out that it was.

Karen says, "one docotor after another, to go through chemo have to go to the cardiologist, lots and lots of doctors visits."

Medicine, chemo, and exhaustion aside, Karen says her days were good, but the nights were a different story.

"I thought about death a lot.  I thought about my kids, if something happened to me.  I thought about my husband."

Speaking of her husband, it was his love and support that helped her win the batttle.

Karen says, "he was my rock, definitely my rock. He was there for me 100%  He was wonderful.   I think that's when I truly realized that unconditional love was."

She says she considers cancer to be a blessing, telling us it allowed her to look at life in a different way.

Karen works in a plastic surgeon's office.

She tells us now when breast cancer patients come through the doors, it hits a little closer to home.

"Every patient that walks through the door that's been diagnosed with breast cancer, I just want to go squeeze them.  You just have alot more compassion toward them after going through something like that."

Karen says losing her hair was one of the hardest things for her, but she decided to make it fun.

"When I lost all my hair I went and got neon colored wigs.  And one day i'd wear a bright pink wig to work and the next day i'd wear a neon green one," she says.

Karen has been cancer free for more than 2 years.

She says now her passion lies in Race for the Cure and other events that raise money for breast cancer research.

Karen says she is a survivor, and now says it's a goal of hers to help other women be able to say the same.

We asked Karen what advice she would have for someone just diagnosed with breast cancer.

She says attitude is 90% of the battle, and it's important to surround yourself with postive people.

Karen is the first in her family to have breast cancer.

She says her doctor told her only 20% of breast cancer cases are hereditary.

For more information on Race for the Cure log onto http://www.komenamarillo.org/

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