Soon after undergoing surgery for ovarian cancer in 2020, Wendy Monsanto learned the disease had progressed to stage three. It’s treatable, but not curable.
“I could take that and go one of two ways: dwell on the negative or just be grateful for the time,” says Wendy, who began working at a high school several years ago after spending 18 years as a stay-at-home mom.
Since her diagnosis, she’s chosen to focus on the positive and all that is good in her life — especially the people: “I have an awesome support group, between work family, my church family and my literal family.”
She’s also grateful for her Baptist Health caregivers. “They know me, they know my whole story, they know my kids. They just take the time to get to know you, and I really appreciate it. If you have to go through something like this, it’s nice to have that personal experience.” In particular, she’s thankful for her gynecologic oncologist, Hope Cottrill, MD. “She’s been very good to me, very open and honest, and I’ve really enjoyed having her as a doctor.”
Now more than ever, Wendy is grateful for time spent with loved ones, and she’s determined to make the most of every moment. It’s a mindset that recently inspired her to spend a week in Italy with her daughter. “Cancer made me brave,” she says. “That’s something I would have never done before…
“This is how we should be living regardless of diagnosis. It has propelled me to be grateful for what I have, the time that I have,” she adds. “My goal is to shine a light and let people know that despite awful news, you can still live every day to the fullest.”
My goal is to shine a light and let people know that despite awful news, you can still live every day to the fullest.