I Am Local 6: Tracy Maxwell, Being Single with Cancer
Kentucky native, Tracy Maxwell, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer eight years ago. She was single, living in Colorado with miles between her and home. She was speaking to college students about the dangers of hazing and loving the outdoors when she started the new year in a somewhat unwelcome way.
“I woke up on New Year’s Day 2006 with really severe abdominal pain. I spent the entire day in bed, and then, that night I woke up in the middle of the night in severe pain again and decided I needed to go to the emergency room,” said Maxwell.
The diagnosis was ovarian cancer. Maxwell knew the process would not be easy, especially as a single, independent woman, with her support network hundreds of miles away in Kentucky.
“I really didn’t have a road map to navigate a serious illness as a single person,” said Maxwell.
With family more than fifteen hours away, Maxwell did not consider coming home for her treatment instead her family made several trips to her.
“They would stay with me from Wednesday, when I had chemo, through the weekend usually, when I was feeling my worst,” said Maxwell.
Hoping to help other singles with cancer, Maxwell started writing about her experiences. The blog turned into a book, “Being Single, with Cancer”. The first chapter reads, “You Are Not Alone”.
“When you’re single, it’s so important that you share what you’re going through and that you’re willing to ask for help,” said Maxwell.
Now in remission, Maxwell shares her story with others and sees her cancer as a blessing.
“It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me because it really showed patterns of my life that really weren’t working,” said Maxwell.
She is still single, and continues to travel to colleges around the country talking with students about the dangers of hazing. Now, her audience has expanded to include singles living with cancer.
If you would like more information about Tracy Maxwell and her book, you may go to iamtracymaxwell.com.