Loralyn Mears: I Survived Cancer and Here Is How I Did It

cancer resilience soft skills mental health

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

This article was originally published by Authority Magazine on Medium on Dec 5, 2021 here:  https://medium.com/authority-magazine/loralyn-mears-i-survived-cancer-and-here-is-how-i-did-it-4d3ea614f0bc


Loralyn Mears, PhD has held executive leadership roles in technology innovation for three Fortune 100s and several tech startups in data science and analytics. Along the way, she’s launched dozens of products, startups, and academic Centers of Excellence. As a recognized author and National Gold Medal Indie book winner, frequent university guest lecturer, and mentor, Loralyn recognized the opportunity to put her experience in higher education and tech into her own effort. STEERus was launched as the world’s first Soft Skills Academy with the transformational goal of closing the gap between education and work and to foster a greater chance for success at school, at work, and in life by training people in soft skills, aka essential skills or human skills.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! We really appreciate the courage it takes to publicly share your story. Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your background and your childhood backstory?

I grew up in Northern Canada — far enough from Toronto where city lights didn’t dim our spectacular view of the Northern Lights — but not so far North that we still enjoyed our summers by the lake. Bugs fascinated me. More specifically, killing mosquitoes had my attention. But I was always playing the educator role teaching anyone who wanted to learn.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“I’m not too old, it’s not too late.” Ageism is real phenomenon. We’ve bought into it as a label and as a mindset — but we don’t have to. Firmly ensconcing myself in that mantra gave me the courage to launch an innovative HRtech startup at an age that’s a lot more senior than the typical founder.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about surviving cancer. Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you found out that you had cancer?

Like most cancer survivors I’ve spoken to, the moment that you hear the “c” word diagnosis remains forever etched in your mind. It’s one of those seminal moments, like 9/11, or when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded, or other major events, that you can recall exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news. It was my third appointment with the radiologist, and I was in the waiting room, typing away on my laptop, doing a conference call in parallel, and essentially dismissive of the idea that the “abnormal” mammogram that they’d taken nearly six months earlier would amount to anything. I was young and so busy traveling for work that I hadn’t had time for the follow-up they had requested until that day. Then the radiologist came out of the back room — not the nurse that had been calling other patients to the back — and I knew. She said, “Loralyn, are you here with anyone? Is there someone that you can call?” I told my boss I needed to leave the teleconference, I closed my laptop, felt all the color drain from my face, and I started tearing up as I followed her meekly to the back of the clinic. I already knew what she was going to tell me…

What was the scariest part of that event? What did you think was the worst thing that could happen to you?

That I was going to die — and I still had so much that I wanted to do to make a difference in this world.

How did you react in the short term?

I dug in, reading everything that I could, soliciting clinical trial entries, investigating special diets, researching which oncologist and surgeons would be best for me. There was no time to dwell in negativity — I had to find a way to move forward.

… story continues here:   https://medium.com/authority-magazine/loralyn-mears-i-survived-cancer-and-here-is-how-i-did-it-4d3ea614f0bc

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