Jeanne Kremers walked away with a new outlook on life
By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Jeanne Kremers’ “The Chosen One” is a personal look at a journey taken after a diagnosis of breast cancer. The book describes how she chose to approach the treatments and their side effects with grace and ease. It also looks at her periods of anger, sadness and fear that eliminated that same grace.
Kremers wants readers to know what she went through, how she coped with each step of chemotherapy, radiation, hair and weight loss. How she handled going back to work and the whisperings of coworkers. She wants others who are going through the same to know they don’t have to hide what they are experiencing from others.
“It’s hard to stay angry or feel grumpy when you have a smile on your face all the time,” she said. “It takes a lot of energy to feel grumpy and a smile is an easy gift.”
The book is full of moments of sadness, both for Kremers and for her family. But, it is also full of moments of joy for both.
“At first, I found it very hard to accept help from others,” she said. “I have always been the caretaker and allowing others to take care of me was one of the hardest lessons I learned.”
Kremers, who grew up in Little Falls as an Oldakowski, said she didn’t want to be vulnerable. Before cancer, she said her hair, her makeup, her body protected her inner child. Without hair, makeup and breasts, her inner child was exposed.
“You don’t have to be strong by yourself. Use other people for your strength,” she said.
There was a lot of crying during Kremers’ journey, but she said she learned that crying is cleansing; it purges the toxins that have amassed when she was grumpy or feeling sorry for herself.
While cancer is terrifying and the possibility of death is real, Kremers said she came away with a new outlook on her life.
“Cleaning house is not important; grandchildren and family are,” she said. “I now have no expectations except love from my family. I learned that to reject gifts or assistance from others is like rejecting them as a person. I also now know that if I can appear happy, I will become happy.”
Kremers was prepping for biopsies in 2009, while her father was dying of cancer. She also had a sister who was undergoing chemotherapy from breast cancer during the same time her father was on his death bed. Kremers followed with a diagnosis of breast of breast cancer the following year.
Her treatments concluded in March 2010, and her now biannual trips to the oncologist have so far been positive.
“The Chosen One” is available at Good Book and Gifts in Little Falls, the Shanty in Pillager, Unique Styles in Royalton, Bialka’s Store in Opole and the Hair Connection in Avon. Kremers will be signing her book during the Little Falls Arts and Crafts Fair, Sept. 7 – 8, in the Good Book and Gifts on First Ave. S.E.
On Oct. 1, “The Chosen One” will be available at Barnes and Noble and at amazon.com.
Kremers and her husband Duane, who live near Holdingford, have two children, Brad and Kira, and two grandchildren, Kitana and Mason Yorek.