July, 10, 2006 -- Posted at 9:30 a.m. CDT
Jonesboro, AR -- Sometimes in life you learn the hard way how to appreciate the small things, and learn to live each day like it could be your last.
These days, Jonesboro's Sherri Gladney is doing just that.
This time last summer she was battling breast cancer, but this summer, and all of the days ahead of her are gifts, she says.
Sherri admits, if she hadn't gone through this experience she would have never known about the inner strength and fighting spirit she had hidden deep inside.
It was news Sherri Gladney never expected, "the first thing that came through my mind was that I can't die.....seriously, I can't die, I don't want to die. I just can't die," said Gladney.
In 2005, she discovered a lump in her breast, but she waited to go to the doctor.
When she eventually did go, her doctor confirmed she had breast cancer.
"I'm going to fight this like I have never fought, or worked hard for anything in my life. I'm just going to do this, and this is what I'm doing," said Gladney.
Sherri is a mother to two girls, and of course, they had questions.
"Mom are you going die? Mom, can you write letters from heaven? I said I don't think I can write letters, but I can send you some kind of signal. Then she goes, you are going to heaven are you?", said Gladley.
She began months of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
Her body was weak, but her spirit was stronger than ever before.
"I came home from the doctors office and I said I don't have cancer anymore, I did it," said Gladley.
Thankful for each day, Sherri now looks at life differently, making sure not to take anything for granted.
"When I first started growing my hair back, and I felt the wind blowing through my hair, I was so excited," said Gladley.
Many people, including Sherri, attribute her positive attitude to helping her beat breast cancer.
She's offering the same encouragement that she got, to others.