It's breast cancer awareness month and we want to tell the story of a woman that has not only fought back from what she calls, the "C" card, but is riding horses, running a major association, and just recently, became a grandmother for the first time.
60 days of legislative session can take their toll on anyone. Carol Dover knows that all too well. As the President and CEO of the Florida restaurant association, Dover knows how to work a room. But nothing could prepare her for the news that came ironically on the first day of session in March 2003.
"I have to tell you, it was earth shattering. But you pick up the pieces."
Doctors found a problem on a mammogram. It was a marker for cancer. So Carol had a choice, reconstructive surgery or take a risk and have a bilateral mastectomy.
"Mastectomy is not that bad. It's a blessing. When the surgery is over and if they can tell you if it spread. That was the day I could take a sigh of relief."
But when you have cancer, you're never really in the clear. Which is why Carol says she's changed the way she thinks and has allowed her to hit the pause button in life to re-prioritize what's really important.
"Once you are dealt the C-card, it's the club you never want to get inducted into. Once you're in it, it's really not so bad."
"Once you have that card, you never live a day of, it's over because it comes back."
But for now, all signs point to recovery. Because Carol Dover needs her strength. Not just for her work or her horses, but for her granddaughter who doesn't know it yet, but has a grandma that can't wait to watch her grow.
"She too will have cards dealt to her. But Mimi will be there."