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Courtney on Cowtown, Cattle, Cancer

Courtney discusses the women that made an impact on her life and what's changed since her mom's diagnosis.

By Courtney Kerr

Despite what you all may think, there is actually one place I love more than Dallas: my hometown, Fort Worth, Texas. Although I have lived in Dallas for almost 10 years now, and consider it my home, Fort Worth will always have a special place in my heart. . .probably because it holds the most special person in my life, my mother, otherwise known as Mama Ro.

This week it was such a delight to share with y'all where I am from. And while Dallas is a lot of glitz and glam, Fort Worth brings out a part of me that is much more homely, simple, and family oriented. You got to meet Mama Ro (who some of y'all might remember from Most Eligible Dallas) as well as lady legend, my Mimi.

I can confidently say that these two women, along with my great grandmother, Grandma Helen, who passed away in 2009 have practically made me who I am today. (Fact: Have you caught a glimpse of that tattoo on my ribs? Its actually script of the date she passed in a font similar to her handwriting.) They always encouraged me to speak my mind, be confident, and stick to my own guns and opinion. . .even when it wasn't always the popular thing to do. These three women spent hours upon hours at dance recitals, theatre performances, cheerleading competitions, and even in dressing rooms shopping with me. These are the women who I want to be like one day. They are the shining example of grace, humility, and selflessness.

Although it was a special couple of days to get to spend with Mama Ro and Mimi. . and lets not forget Tori, who, without question, was there for support as well…it was hard not to let the "C" word slip into our special time together. I was scared. Mimi was scared. But Mama Ro -- she had faith. She was calm. She was laughing. She was all those emotions that I can't imagine having the day before cancer surgery. And the way that she shows her faith continues to remind me why she is the most incredible woman I know. Thankfully, due to a lot of prayers and the hand of God, Mama Ro comes out of surgery and, somehow, the cancer is not as bad as the doctors had originally told us. This blessing was more than we ever could have prayed for -- and her recovery time was cut in half!

This whole process with Mama Ro going into surgery really put a lot in perspective for me. It reminded me to live every day like it might be my last, to tell everyone around you that you love them, and to be grateful for friends like Tori that support you no matter what.

Thank you for all of your sweet messages and emails about Mama Ro. She is cancer free now and has had several reconstructive surgeries on her nose and she now looks perfect! We were blessed that she has such incredible doctors and surgeons operating on her. Thank you Dr. Mara and Dr. Anderson!

Also, while I am on the topic, a lot of you have asked what kind of cancer Mama Ro had. She was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma. She had no warning signs of it and had no clue there was cancer living on her face until she went into the doctor for her annual physical and he mentioned it.

But here is the important part of my mother's story: Her cancer could have been prevented. Her cancer was 100 percent a result of being in the sun without sunscreen. This was not only a wake up call for her, but also for me. I had spent many of my summers covering myself in tanning oil and laying in the sun for hours. In the winter, I would go to tanning beds. NO MORE! Since my mother's diagnosis, I have not gone into the sun without sunscreen and have not set foot into a tanning bed. Seeing my mother go through this experience allowed me finally understand all the warnings that I have heard over the years.

So ladies, I CAN'T SAY IT ENOUGH, stick to the spray tan and remember: SUNSCREEN IS YOUR FRIEND.

And as always, for more fashion inspiration and to find out the details on all the looks I wore in this week's episode, visit my website!


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