An exciting weekend of family fun at Atlanta Motor Speedway turned into the start of a very different endurance race for Corinne Coning and her family.
“There was a NASCAR race that weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. So, my parents went all out. They got the front camping spot next to the president of NASCAR. They got a whole weekend. We were all going to go camp out with them.”
Instead, that day in early March of 2015, Corinne was diagnosed with Stage 3A breast cancer.
She was 34 at the time, newly married with two stepsons. Everything seemed to be going right. “My husband and I hadn’t even had our first wedding anniversary when this all went down,” Corinne says. “I had gone through so much personally and finally met a good guy. Got married. I get to be a mom. We have the boys. Work’s good. Family’s good. Everything is great. We just got a house, and then all of a sudden this.”
The family and their doctors sprang into action. The next month, Corinne had a double mastectomy. There were twenty weeks of chemotherapy, six-and-a-half weeks of radiation, a hysterectomy, and reconstructive surgeries that will be completed this summer. Because the type of cancer she had requires hormones to grow, she will be on anti-hormone therapy for a decade.
There was a lot to manage, and Corinne attributes her success to family support and an action-oriented personality. “I’m an accountant. Because there were such a lot of steps involved in my treatment, it was so overwhelming. When the next thing came up, I said, ‘Okay, what do I have to do to prepare for this?'”
The support of her new husband Todd, her stepsons, and her parents were indispensable, but it wasn’t easy. “When you’re asking for help it’s also admitting that you can’t do it. So there’s a pride component to that.”
Communication is key, Corinne says. “You can’t keep anything inside because it’s just not healthy. We strive for that. My husband and I will both communicate whether or not you like it.”