NEWS10 Special Report: Woman fights cancer with unusual help - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

NEWS10 Special Report: Woman fights cancer with unusual help

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What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving: your family, your job, your health?

One local woman is counting her blessings after beating cancer.

Lots of patients say keeping a positive attitude helps them through the shock of the diagnosis and the discomfort of treatment. Charlotte Senecal stayed upbeat with the help of family and friends - and with the glitz and glamor of stars dancing on her T.V.

It wasn't always easy, said Charlotte. "There were plenty of times that I cried and was upset and discouraged."

She was getting ready to host Christmas at her home when she got the news no woman wants to hear: she had breast cancer.

"It came out of the blue for me," Charlotte told us. "I had no idea. I was only 44. I had no family history. I had no reason to suspect that other than I just didn't feel right."

The cancer had spread and after a lumpectomy in both breasts, Charlotte was looking at 12 weeks of chemo then radiation.

"I tried to really look towards the finish line."

But her finish line had something big, round and shiny at the end of it: the mirror ball trophy on "Dancing with the Stars."

The show's season coincided with her treatment, and each week she saw a celebrity go home was one week closer to the end of chemo.

"It was a Monday night so if I was nervous about chemo the next day I could just watch the glitter and the mirror ball and it was fun, and that was what I was trying to do," said Charlotte. "Stay happy and cheerful, and just get through it."

That was probably the year she felt like the mirror ball was won by two people.

Charlotte's rooting for Emmitt and Cheryl to repeat as champs in this all-star season, but the all-stars on her team are the family and friends who cooked for her, took her kids to school concerts and also kept her focused on the positive.

"There are so many little things you can do for someone who's going through this," Charlotte told us. "I had someone write me a card every week without fail and it was so sweet."

No matter how she felt, or what she looked like when her hair started falling out, her all-stars at home kept step with the stars on the screen throughout the chemo.

"I put a message out on Facebook and said ‘hey everybody, in 100 days I'll be done, but don't worry I'm not going to bore you with a countdown every day,' of course they said yes you will and we're going to count with you."

Now healthy, Charlotte waits with the rest of us to find out the all-star season champion.

She wants all women to remember to take care of themselves, especially as we're in this busy holiday season of taking care of everyone else.

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