Empowered to Succeed – Episode 139

Empowered to Succeed

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Featuring: Tara Lessard

Published: November 24, 2018

In a special two-part episode, the hosts of Health, Hope & Inspiration talk with guest Tara Lessard, a currently-treating ovarian cancer patient whose mission is to help encourage other cancer patients to live their best life today and make every moment matter.

Show Notes:

Tara Lessard refuses to be defined by her cancer diagnosis. Having fourth-stage ovarian cancer has not been easy—after being declared cancer-free in May 2016, she was later rediagnosed with spleen cancer. Despite the setback, Lessard prefers to focus on how she lives every day. “It’s my gift to be able to let people know that, regardless of the outcome, it matters, the day to day and your perspective around it—how you move forward in life and how you decide to be. And that can be elegant and faith-filled, regardless of outcome.”

Lessard now spends her time as a patient advocate for the Cancer Fighters network in Philadelphia, speaking to women with late-stage ovarian cancer. She also works with Cancer Support Community, which offers free-of-charge programs to families who have been affected by cancer. “It has become my life’s mission, just because I’ve been gifted this life, and I’ve rung the bell of cancer-free twice now, which is pretty unheard of for fourth-stage ovarian.” Lessard has made up her mind that she wants to live daily with grace, dignity and self-respect, focusing on what she can control today: “God’s position in my life and others is that He’ll take care of the future. So, what it comes down to is the thing that is now, and if you can be really present and open to the possibilities of what is now, without fear of the future and without regret or resent for the past.”

Quotes:

  • “The bottom line is we are born and we die. That’s really what it comes down to, and I think, given the nature of the journey, if I posed that question to any one of the people that does not or is not even aware if they have cancer, no one would know if they would be 10 years, 20 years out. No one knows. And so, truth be told, science is catching up now in so many beautiful ways.”
  • “I’ve often found that accessing the emotional components of what was a very physical experience was really difficult until the softness of prayer happened, and being surrounded by prayerful people.”
  • “We can’t hope for or wish for a better past, right? And God’s position in my life and others is that He’ll take care of the future. So, what it comes down to is the thing that is now, and if you can be really present and open to the possibilities of what is now, without fear of the future and without regret or resent for the past, it really does keep you on a path of just being aware of the blessings when they’re in front of you and the gratitude that you can have in all of this powerlessness to just grab on to that and move forward.”

Resources:

Click here to download this week’s resource: “Inspirational Thoughts for Cancer Patients

Blogs:
Read Medical tests women should have
Read Hereditary cancer risks: How information can open up opportunities
Read Using integrative therapies to help manages side effects of cancer treatment

Learn More:
CTCA | Atlanta, GA
Cancer Fighters
Cancer Support Community