Lee sits down with Caroline Rose in this week’s episode of the WE Have Cancer podcast to discuss non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and how a rescue dog helped the healing process.
Through taking care of her dog Riley, Caroline was able to find hope, forgiveness, love, and so much more during her journey with stage-4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Caroline turned a letter to her dog into so much more and now uses her story with Riley to help others find hope during diagnosis and treatment, as well as guide her through the aftermath of remission.
Caroline Rose had battled stage-4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 27 years old. Instead of letting fear grip hold of her life, Caroline turned to hope and a rescue dog named Riley. Helping rehabilitate Riley after neglect and abuse allowed Caroline to heal in her own way and it formed a bond and drive that has continued on. She’s since turned her story into a website, public speaking events, and soon, a book: Dear Riley Rose.
Table of contents:
Introduction to Caroline Rose
Lee introduces Caroline, how he came to know her and what he found interesting with her personal story.
Why has a dog played such an important role
With everything seemingly going against it, Caroline found her future dog Riley and some unconditional love.
Turning that love into a story
With the pair intertwined, Caroline wrote a letter to Riley, forming the basis of her website and an upcoming book.
At a time when things can seem hopeless, the right story can change everything. That’s what Caroline kept hearing from people at public speaking events so she made it a core part of her message.
At 27 years old, Caroline was in the best shape of her life. She had run several marathons and was in training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. But when she went to get vaccinated for the trip, routine blood work showed a problem.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma side effects
Caroline shares some of the side effects treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has had on her life.
The aftermath of remission
Now in remission for 10 years, Caroline opens up about how treatment can feel like a finish line with little guidance in how to handle life afterward.
Having cancer with children
Caroline also talks about how she’s managed her diagnosis and treatment all with her children. From using a child psychologist to creating a picture book of the experience to share with her daughter, Caroline opens up about what she told her children and how they went through it as a family.
Finding joy and laughter
Caroline says she hopes her children would remember her laughter when they think about their combined journey. Whether it be the dogs, family, and friends, Caroline talks about where she’s found joy and laughter throughout it all.
Forgiveness and love
Caroline discusses how she was hard on herself during diagnosis and treatment and how she was able to forgive herself and heal.