Kicking Cancer In The Teeth Twice: A Story Of Hope With Sarah E. McDonald

WRT 35 | Story Of Hope

  A cancer diagnosis is probably one of the most debilitating events that can happen in a person’s life. How do you pick yourself up after? Where do you find strength when it seems like the world is falling down on you? Sharing a story of hope, Sarah E. McDonald is an inspiration who not only kicked one but two cancer diagnoses in the teeth. In this episode, she joins Tina Fornwald to talk about her journey through cancer, overcoming twice the odds at the same time. With her book, The Cancer Channel, Sarah relays the many realizations she had across the events surrounding her year of cancer treatments. Sarah also touches on her father’s battle with prostate cancer, how she learned a hard lesson when a loved one is having a health issue, and going through the grieving process. Across all the pain and challenges, Sarah lets us in on her experiences to highlight the power of our stories and how we can turn them into beacons of hope and strength for others. Let this conversation inspire you to advocate for yourself and show up for others.   Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Kicking Cancer In The Teeth Twice: A Story Of Hope With Sarah E. McDonald Our guest is Sarah McDonald. We met some time ago, years when I was enduring breast cancer, and we’re going to have a conversation with her about her journey through cancer, a book that she’s written, and, unfortunately, her dad and his battle with cancer. Let’s get into the conversation now.     Our guest is Sarah McDonald. She is someone I’ve known for a lot while but have not spoken to in ages. As we know, the widowhood conversation is about every part of that hood, whether it is a parent, a spouse, or someone close to you that is no longer in this world. We are having a conversation about that. As we talk about grief, it expands past, unfortunately, the passion of someone we love. Sarah can talk about all those different things. We’re going to have a conversation about her, her journey, and anything else that comes up. She probably drills me because we have not talked in a long time. We’re going to get right into it. Welcome, Sarah. Thank you, Tina. I’m thrilled to be here. She’s a one-liner, but this lady is out here making big gains in this world. Sarah, tell us a little bit about professional Sarah and personal Sarah. Professional Sarah has done a number of different things. When I first met you and your brother, I was working at eBay. I had been there for fourteen years. I had become a senior person at eBay. During that time, I had cancer. That’s the reason I’m talking to many people on podcasts these days because I had that tough experience, and I’ve written a book about it. From a professional standpoint, I left eBay at the beginning of 2019. I went to work at a small 120-person startup as the COO. I ended up leaving that a few years later during the pandemic and decided to become an executive coach. While I was going through my executive coach certification, I had been writing this book about my cancer experience. I decided that with the time that I had, I wanted to finish the book. If my time was short in this life, one of the things that I would regret most, Tina, is if I didn’t finish the book. While I was getting my certification, I finished writing my book, The Cancer Channel. Since that time, I’ve been an executive coach, coaching a number of C-level executives at startups. I am now a published author who is speaking at corporations, TV, radio, and podcasts. Podcast is my favorite medium by far. It’s much more relaxed and real. I’m working at a small startup again. I live in Northern California in the Bay Area. It’s hard to live in the Bay Area and not participate in the startup phenomenon. There’s a couple of things there. Thank you. People, we’re all on the same page. What is a COO and C-level? A COO is the Chief Operating Officer, and generally, that is the second in command after the CEO, who is the Chief Executive Officer. The way we described our roles, for those of you who have been in the hospitality space, he was the front of the house and I was the back of the house. I made sure that the company was running well, efficiently, and effectively, and we were meeting our goal. The CEO and I paired on that. When I say C-level, those are people who have the word chief in their title. That would be the CEO, COO, CMO, which is the Chief Marketing Officer, or Chief Product Officer, which is the CPO. I’m talking to people who are in the hot seat, Tina. Thank you for breaking that down for us. We’ll make sure everybody understands. They’re probably like, “Look at that. What is that word?” I make sure they’re all good. Cancer, how did that start? I know the book is written, but what is the onset of that in types of cancers, and how did that go for you? This is something you and I talked about several years ago. My cancer story started when I had been at eBay for several years. I was running a big department. I was asked to interview for a role called the Chief of …

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