It’s your worst nightmare.
You wake up feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck. You go to the doctor and he tells you it’s your gallbladder.
You don’t have time to be sick. You’ve got a modeling and acting career to pursue. Your bubbly, happy personality has won you the reputation of being the Julia Roberts of advertising. You were even a Bud girl in a Super Bowl commercial.
So you make arrangements to remove your gallbladder once your doctor has done an ultrasound to confirm his diagnosis.
The test results come back.
You’ve got stage IV cancer.
Ever since Kris Carr got the news on Valentine’s Day 2003, she’s known she could never go back to her carefree, hard-partying, fast-paced lifestyle.
I felt like I was punched in the stomach by God. ‘Cancer’ is such a frightening word. How could this be happening to me? Cancer happened to other people. I was young and vibrant.” 
We all love to hear stories of cancer survivors who beat the odds. Kris Carr fulfills that narrative in spades.
She took arms against her diagnosis. She acted as if she were the CEO of a company called Save My Ass Technologies, Inc. She was going to do everything in her power to beat this thing.
Thus began her transformation into a health junkie … and the results are undeniable.
She’s still here, nearly 15 years later. Vibrant and happy as ever.
So did Kris Carr discover the secret to living with cancer?
No one who’s lost anyone to cancer could believe that claim. There’s no “secret” to living with cancer. There are only strategies.
Cancer hits different people differently. Remedies that help one person may do nothing for someone else.
Kris is open about her exploration of lifestyle changes, alternative therapies, and spiritual healing, much of which she documents in her 2007 film “Crazy Sexy Cancer” and book Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips. She believes in the power of a good oncologist, but she also believes in the power of plant-based nutrition (read: lots of green juices).
“Though I can’t be cured,” she writes, “I can still be healthy.” 
What makes Kris a #BrilliantBabe isn’t the way she’s held her own against cancer—though her journey has inspired millions—but rather the way she’s built a community where women can be open about living with cancer.
Not many people with cancer want to broadcast their diagnosis to the world, but for Kris secrecy was part of the problem. Cancer is such a heavy diagnosis. She wanted to change the energy around the word.
That’s why she coined the phrase “crazy sexy cancer.”
Crazy = Out-of-the-box, forward thinking. Trailblazing.
Sexy = empowering, whole.
Cancer = teacher.”
Although she fully admits that having cancer is not sexy, she wants women to know that they haven’t lost their power to the disease. Life doesn’t stop for tumors. A cancer diagnosis doesn’t prevent you from enjoying “joy, whimsy, delight, fun, getting back in touch with [your] childlike nature.” 
But it’s hard to do on your own. You need support.
Kris believes that community is everything. Cancer can be quite lonely. Even those who love you can’t totally understand what it’s like for you.
That’s why she urges everyone to get their own “cancer posse,” a support group of other women who’ve lived with cancer. Your cancer posse gives you a safe space to talk about how you’re really feeling (even if you can’t tell your family) and share tips and information.
Kris’ openness about her journey and refusal to give up her optimistic outlook on life inspires all of us to live our best life, because today is all we ever really have. Tomorrow is a guarantee given to none of us.
Here are 5 quotes that will make you fall in love with Kris:
The moment when I realized that I am impermanent, that I am going to die … I got clear on how I wanted to live.” 
Fear is not a fact; it’s a feeling. Today I am not going to die of cancer, so why am I going to sit in the corner on a beautiful day and think about dying of cancer?” 
Meditation taught me how to go to my edge, curtsy and find peace. We all need time to let the dust bunnies roll like tumbleweeds.”
Take it one step at a time and be super kind to yourself. It’s not a race. No one will give you a trophy. Listen to your inner guidance and to your body.”
Trust your gut. Create, create, create. Listen to what others think, but listen to yourself more. Leave room. You can’t start a revolution if you’re too tired. And lastly, you can’t fail. Every side step is a teaching point.”
Stay Tuned for More #BrilliantBabe Profiles
Here at Your Brilliance, we believe the best way to figure out how bright you’re able to shine is to look up to other woman who are doing what you’ve always wanted to do.
The women you see featured in glossy magazines, climbing sheer rock cliffs and heading Fortune 500 businesses and crafting unique Etsy art from the comfort of their own homes, got there on guts and faith.
They didn’t know if they’d be able to succeed at their dream. But each and every one made the decision to take the first step. And the second. And the third.
We hope these profiles of brilliant women inspire you to reach for your dreams.