Channel 11′s Cara Sapida opens up about battle with breast cancer and her new book
This Mother’s Day weekend, we are honoring one of the hardest working moms we know here at Channel 11.
Our very own Cara Sapida has been back on your TVs for the last two years, breaking big stories in Washington County and keeping neighbors informed.
Off the air, she’s taking care of her two kids and she just wrote and published a book about her courageous fight with breast cancer.
She invited friend and colleague, Jennifer Tomazic, back to her home to sit down and talk about what’s happened since the last time we did a story with her in January of 2021.
“I do remember the last time we were doing this and it’s a sad memory for me because I was smiling through the entire interview but I can see the sadness,” Cara recalls.
It’s that honesty that endears us to Cara. And the same type of honesty you’ll find in the new book she just wrote and published in the last few weeks called Not the Breast Year of My Life.
“I share my story now because I want women to know that they are not alone,” Cara said. “I felt grateful that I figured out a way to find purpose through the pain.”
Written from just a month after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in June 2020 until January 2022, Cara takes the reader right along with her: through the diagnosis, the chemotherapy, and the healing.
“It is hard to heal. It is hard to get back to normalcy,” Cara notes.
But Cara’s down-to-earth voice in the book makes it feel possible, as if a friend is there, holding your hand through it, giving you advice.
“We didn’t sign up for this, but we also come through it stronger, with this newfound appreciation for life’s smallest moments.”
Moments like the many we witnessed with her kids while we were at her house. They brought down the pictures they colored for her when she was going through chemotherapy.
At one point, her son, Greyson turned to her and said: “She’s the best mom in the world,” to which her daughter Lilah quickly agreed.
Cara’s two kids are woven throughout the book. They gave her strength to fight like a mother and they were there for big moments, like when they rang bells for her when she came home from her last chemo treatment and earlier in the year when she shaved her head. She picked that part of the journey to feature on the cover and to read us passage about:
“The part of this experience where you lose the hair is harrowing. It’s broadcasting to the world that we are sick.”
Raw moments like this are coupled in the book with inspiration.
“A lot of us are going through hardship on top of hardships,” says Cara. “Finding hope and resilience is important to all of us.”
Cara also puts out a call for action to change what breast cancer is and isn’t.
“It is more than pink ribbons. It should not be glamorized the way it has been. It is a very ugly disease that is stealing people’s lives,” she says.
Cara suggests donating to local cancer organizations and research as a way to help the fight against breast cancer.
When Jennifer asked her what it’s like seeing her name at the bottom of the book cover she told her it is surreal. She always wanted to write a book but she never thought this would be the route she took.
The moment it really sunk in that her bravely authored book was resonating with women, came from her 7-year-old son who gave her a huge hug.
“He doesn’t say anything for the longest time and he goes ‘you did it!’ And I was like ‘I did it,’” said Cara. “So even if I didn’t sell another book after that moment it all felt worthwhile. Because he was proud of me.”
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