I am an almost 17 year breast cancer survivor. When diagnosed, I was a personal shopper at Saks in Chicago (Oprah was among many of my high-profile clients). I had gone through a divorce and put pursuing a career in journalism on hold (I had 3 young daughters at the time). The year I was going through chemo, I answered an ad by the Chicago Tribune - they needed a stringer. The rest is history.
The year I went through chemo I wrote 35 stories for the Chicago Tribune. After that I went on to take a full-time position at a weekly paper. In 2003 I went freelance - today I am a frequent contributor to the Chicago Tribune and often do health stories for the Washington Post. I also covered both Blagojevich trials. I am on Twitter @Msjournalist with over 2700 followers.
Had I not been diagnosed, not sure I would have pursued reporting. Sometimes it takes a little cancer to make you realize what is important.