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was Stage 4 and I had only months, maybe weeks and numbers and lab results. People, even some to live.” One final test remained and it delivered doctors, pull back and look at you like you’re just surprising news. “The test confirmed nonanother patient, a collection of numbers. Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” she says. “That changed “But you’re more than that! This is about your everything because it was treatable.” life and your health, no one else’s. Keep thinking What lay ahead – six rounds of chemo at the for yourself! Ask yourself, ‘what’s best for me?’ Mayo Clinic – wasn’t easy. Nancy doesn’t gloss Getting cancer when I was younger made me over the painful realities. “One late afternoon I realize I wasn’t going to live forever. But I don’t got a call after a scan revealed a cervical fracture live with a fear of dying. With each diagnosis, in my neck. They sent an ambulance and I had to I never thought I was going to die. Keep your wear a very rigid neck brace that made it hard to identity and choose to think positive.” move or even breathe. COVID restrictions meant Nancy’s spirit and story by itself builds my family couldn’t come with me so I went in community. When she returned to Lanesboro alone while they stayed outside in the car talking after her latest chemo treatments, dozens of to me on my cell phone. Then my phone battery friends and neighbors organized a free-flowing started to die. It was a very hard night.” parade past her house with ‘welcome home’ But then, more surprising – even shocking – banners, balloons – and ukuleles. She sat in a good news. “After chemo, new scans showed the Nancy Martinson and John Carlin at a lawn chair in her front yard, and even a big mask cancer was gone,” Nancy says. “They don’t use ‘Stone Soup’ event at Lanesboro’s Sylvan couldn’t hide Nancy’s even bigger smile. the word ‘cured.’ But it was remarkably better. My Park. / Courtesy photo Her recovery continues. “I’m getting stronger doctors were amazed.” but I have a ways to go yet,” she says. “I’m not Looking back on five cancer battles, you’d expect to hear words of thinking about that. I’m thinking about my next project.” And what anger, even bitterness, from Nancy. You just don’t. “I never really got will that be? “Gardening!” she says, enthusiastically. “I’m expanding angry or mad; I’m not sure why. I didn’t ask ‘why me?’ When I got a my garden. I’ve always grown vegetables. Now it’s diagnosis, I’d think, why not me? I have more experience in dealing time for my favorite flowers. I can’t wait!” with these situations than most people. I’ve been through this before. I know what to expect.” Steve Harris is a freelance writer and the author What has she learned that might help others? of “Lanesboro, Minnesota.” He and his wife, Susie, “When a diagnosis comes, it’s easy to lose yourself. You can get were also innkeepers at Anna V’s Bed & Breakfast in sucked into a world of being ‘unwell.’ It feels like it’s all about tests Lanesboro for the last dozen years.

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Fall 2021 / iloveinspired.com

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Profile for Inspire(d) Media

Inspire(d) Fall 2021  

Change is Good! Inspire(d)’s 14th Anniversary Issue! • Decorah Prairie • Community Builders: Craig & Sara Neuzil • Melissa Wray • Josh Herte...

Inspire(d) Fall 2021  

Change is Good! Inspire(d)’s 14th Anniversary Issue! • Decorah Prairie • Community Builders: Craig & Sara Neuzil • Melissa Wray • Josh Herte...

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