Ann Sexton – Retreat Guest

Meet Ann Sexton

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This former Arizona gal made her home here in Oregon in 2000 and moved to the Portland area in 2005, where she is a Speech Language Pathologist for the Portland Public School District. When asked what she had wanted to be when she was 10 she told us that she had wanted to be a teacher, to us it looks like she obtained her childhood dream job. Ann attended one of our free Pink Retreats in the summer of 2018 and since her happy place is being outside sitting in the sun with a coffee in hand we know she was right at home on our amazing floating home. We’re excited to share a little about her!!

Okay silly question time before the tough stuff…What is your biggest pet peeve?

Clothes that need to be ironed.

What would be your last meal on earth?

Cheese crisps!

Who is your ideal dinner guest?

Ruth B Ginsburg

Who did you tell first about your diagnosis? 

My 3 friends Tiana, Amy and Rachel.  I had my daughter with me when I got the news and I needed to be with other people so I texted them. They gathered their kids and met me at the park.  The kids played and they sat with me on a blanket just distracting me and keeping me company. Then my kids were picked up by their dad and I drove to my friend Helen’s house. My sister Megan and 2 other friends Honi and Paresh came over. I felt surrounded and protected and loved.

What has been the most surprising thing about your diagnosis or experience? 

The most surprising thing about my cancer experience is how many positive things came out of it.  I had many silver linings.

What did you know about yourself that was confirmed by this diagnosis? 

I knew I had a huge support system and this was confirmed by the flood of support I got from beginning to end.

What have you learned about yourself? 

I can in fact give myself injections.  When the chemo nurse told me I’d need to give myself injections in the stomach I say, “Nope not going to happen”. Not. In. A. Million. Years.  But, who knew? I am brave! And apparently I have an ok looking bald head.

What is best thing someone has said or done for you during cancer? 

Oh gosh, I can’t think of one thing that anyone said or did that was the “best” I was so fortunate to have SO many people cheering for me. When I was first diagnosed, my friend Paresh convinced me that above all else, I needed to positive. It was exactly the advice I needed. Being positive was essential. My mom took care of me during my first 3 rounds of chemo (the worst 3) and then again after my mastectomy. I couldn’t have made it through treatment without her! My sisters and best friends were incredible helping me with all the other rounds of chemo. Many other friends helped with food and my kids. My co-worker, turned hero, traded work assignments with me which allowed me to have just enough flexibility to continue working with less time off. The organization, Michelle’s Love helped me financially. I will forever be grateful. I feel like this is one of those speeches where I will forget to thank someone.  I’m overwhelmed by how much help I had.

What’s the one thing you would tell a newly diagnosed women? Why?  

Stay positive and optimistic.  Take care of yourself. Ask for and accept help. Seek alternative care. I believe with all my heart that the care I received from my NDs, and acupuncturists helped prevent, lessen or manage the side effects of chemo, surgery and radiation.

What is the silver lining from your experience?  

I love my new hair! I love my new boobs! I don’t have my period anymore and my migraines went away when I started chemo.  But in all seriousness, my silver lining is that I made some incredible friends as a result of this journey. And I acquired the ability to prioritize what is really important.

Okay last question…which actress would you cast to play you in the movie of your life?

Meg Ryan

Thank you Ann for being a part of our Pink Sistas Tribe! We love you.