Positive thinking and humor helps one cancer survivor

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 11:53 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Anna Wilson was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

“I called it the garbage dump of a situation. That was what it was,” Wilson said. “Physically, it’s tough, your body aches, you lose your hair, you are on steroids and they make your face kind of puffy, you don’t feel good you feel just lousy.”

Despite a reoccurrence, multiple surgeries, and multiple rounds of treatment, Wilson tried her best to keep a positive attitude.

One of the ways she went about that was leaning on family and friends.

“What I learned is that I didn’t have to be happy all the time,” Wilson said. “I could call family and friends and say, I’m having a really hard day, and sometimes just getting that out and saying it makes it a big difference.”

Sarah Shultz is an oncology nurse at Marshfield Clinic-Chippewa Center. She says sometimes laughter can be a powerful tool to lift someone’s spirits.

“Positivity works in different ways is different for everyone,” Shultz said. “It can look like humor like a lot of people think of positivity, but it can also just be something in your life that brings you a little joy.”

Wilson’s aunt, Jean Borgerding, is from Minnesota.

Borgerding used humor and her amateur Photoshop skills to bring a smile to her niece’s face.

“One thing led to the other, people would start making suggestions. Pretty soon, every night I was making it a picture and putting it up on Facebook”

At one point Anna lost her hair from her cancer treatments. So, Borgerding drew Anna as different characters and uploaded them to Facebook.

Eventually, Borgerding put all her Anna-Creations in one spot, a book dubbed 150 Faces of Anna.

“They were groups of characters that should be together that weren’t necessarily one after each other in the process,” Borgerding said. “I mean, I did this 150 days in a row.”

Even through the rough days, Wilson did her best to look on the brighter side, with her family every step of the way.

After years of cancer and rigorous treatment, Wilson was able to share some good news. That her most recent scans were clean and she’s in remission.

“Every four months I get CT scans and I actually just had them last week and everything looks great and my tumor marker has never been lower,” Wilson said.

Giving Wilson and those close to her one more thing to smile about

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