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Goodyear woman confident of victory over cancer she's fought for 16 years

PHOENIX -- Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? Some medical experts say that a positive attitude can lead to a healthier life.

Carolene Davis, 52, of Goodyear, Ariz., believes that a positive attitude has been part of her treatment as she has battled cancer over the last 16 years.

Davis was a 36-year-old real estate agent in Santa Barbara, Calif., when she went to see her gynecologist in 1998.

"I went there to get my tubes tied," Davis said. "He said, 'You're ready for a Pap (smear).' We did it, and I was diagnosed with cervical cancer."

It was something that both her mother and grandmother had in the past.

"It just really didn't me hard, like 'Oh my God! I've got Cancer!' It was just something that I had to deal with," she said.

She's dealt with it seven times.

"Lucky number seven," she said.

Over the years, she said the cancer would go into remission, but then return more aggressively. It would then spread to other parts of her body.

She described what the doctors would tell her.

"'Oh, we're just going to snip a little piece off of your right lung, and you'll go on your merry way.' And that's what they did," Carolene said. "Then there was a lymph node in my neck, and then they cut that out."

She decided that the cancer won't beat her.

"I had to deal with it gracefully and always put on a cheerful face," she said, chuckling, "and of course makeup!"

Davis said she has undergone chemotherapy four times. She's lost her hair so many times that she's named all of her wigs: There's Trixie, Lola and the Warrior Princess.

"The latest wig is Meesha. I love her to death!" she said.

She also set several goals for herself that have driven her to fight.

Her son was only 8 when she was first diagnosed. She set a goal to see him grow up. She did.

Davis then set a goal to see him graduate from the Golf Academy in Temecula, California. She did.

Then she wanted to make it to her 50th birthday. She celebrated it with her family and friends.

Now, Davis hopes to see her son start a family so she can be a grandmother.

Last year, Davis and her husband moved to Goodyear for his new job. She's been getting treatment at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, where Dr. Dijeet Singh led her to fight cancer with a few different tools.

"She put me on different vitamins, and on Chinese herbs," Davis said.

She said she believes that Singh has cured her of cancer and that she has taken chemo for the last time.

"I did everything right this time, and I truly believe that this is it."

Her cancer is now in remission, she reported.

Singh said that Davis is remarkable.

"She's outlived all of the statistics out there because of her great attitude," the doctor said.

As for Davis' confidence that she's beaten cancer for good, Singh said she can't predict what will happen.

"But if thinking that this is her last chemo is what's helped her get through this treatment, I fully support her in that," said Singh.

Davis had some advice to anyone who is diagnosed with cancer.

"Take a deep breath, think it over, do your research and get a second opinion," she said. "Make sure that you have the team behind you, and family and friendship. If you don't have the support behind you, you're not going to make it. You're not going to have the good attitude that you really need to have."

It's the same positive attitude that Davis believes has led her during her fight to beat cancer.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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