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In some psychology class in some school classroom somewhere, we all are taught about the stages of grief. There is denial and anger — there is bargaining and depression — and eventually there is acceptance.

Sherry Pollex looks to have acceptance down pat.

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“I sit outside and have a glass of wine and watch the sunset and think about life and how lucky I am to be here and to be in the position to help other people,” Sherry, who is currently battling ovarian cancer, tells Rare Country during a recent interview outside the motor coach she and her NASCAR star boyfriend Martin Truex Jr. call home on race weekends.


Yet, there is still a tinge of anger detectable in her voice, and for good reason. “I was going to the doctor and doing everything you are supposed to do, and they still misdiagnosed me for six months,” she recalls. “If I would have been diagnosed at stage I, the chance of survival would have been 95%, and now …”

Her voice trails off and, for a moment, her face shows the toll that her battle has taken on her.

“Now my chance of survival is less than 20%,” she says quietly. “Those are dire statistics as you get closer to stage IV. I mean, I had all the symptoms of ovarian cancer. I was bloated. I had abdominal pain. I would eat a little bit and feel full right away.”

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It’s these symptoms that Sherry has made her mission to share with the world via her work with SherryStrong.org and the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation so that, ultimately, no other woman has to get the news she received on that fateful doctor’s visit.

“It’s like that Tim McGraw song ‘Live Like You Were Dying,’” she says with more emotion than before about what life is like for her these days. “That’s just what you do. You want to make memories and you want to do things that you wouldn’t otherwise do, so I definitely think those sunsets and everything about life are that much more special. I guess that’s the one gift cancer gives you.”

NASCAR’s Sherry Pollex opens up about the misdiagnosis that changed her life Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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