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10 Questions with Scarlett

We are so excited to introduce a community member, Scarlett Callahan, who has joined our Cactus Cancer Society Team. Whether you’ve yet to meet her or have hung out with Scarlett before, there’s plenty to discover. Read on for more!

What’s your name and new role at Cactus Cancer Society? Where are you located? What’s your zodiac sign?

My name is Scarlett Callahan and I am thrilled to join Cactus Cancer Society as the Development Coordinator! I am primarily located in Boulder, Colorado and spend time on Kauai, Hawaii with my family. I am a Virgo Sun, Sagittarius Moon, and Scorpio Rising…wild combo, I know.

How did you first find Cactus Cancer Society?

It has been nearly 5 years since I was diagnosed with Leukemia, and somehow I only stumbled upon Cactus Cancer Society a few months ago, through a friend who recommended a writing workshop. Truthfully, I wish I had found this community sooner – I could have used the company during the early days of treatment!

When you’re having a rough patch or feeling drained, what, who, or where helps you refuel?

When I am feeling rough or drained, I often find the answer is radical rest and/or self care – the path forward looks different every time. If my desired destination is “peace,” a step I take toward it might be journaling, yoga, playing outside, seeing live music, connecting with friends, sleeping for 12 hours, hugging my dog, a hot cup of tea with honey, or getting lost in a book. I’ve found that every state of fatigue requires me to pause and consider which recipe for rest will best serve me. Some types of burnout, like cancer recovery, have challenged me to travel a long, windy path where I consistently try some combination of all the things I listed above, until I find respite. Maybe the short answer would be “I listen to my intuition, and do what it asks of me.” 

What are your favorite spots where you live? If someone were to visit, how would you suggest they spend their day in your area?

Oooh, this is fun! It would depend on the person asking, but my favorite way to spend a day in Boulder, CO is to take a morning yoga class at Yoga Pearl, grab a matcha latte and a new book at Trident, check out the vintage shops, hit a hiking trail or climb in the Flatirons, meditate by the creek, load up on green curry at Alloy Thai for dinner, and find live music in the evening…come to think of it, you’ll probably need a couple of days to do it all, so come spend a weekend with me!

If you have a day that’s totally free on your calendar, what’s your ideal way to spend it?

When I have a day completely free on my calendar, I love to spend it doing some combination of the aforementioned Boulder things! My first choice would be spending a sunny day outside by the creek with my dog and my journal, though.

Tell us about the last TV show, book series, or movie that you loved.

I recently jumped on the ACOTAR (A Court of Thorns and Roses) bandwagon and it’s the first series I’ve let myself be totally infatuated with for some time. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say the descriptive writing of Sarah J Mass really encourages readers to flex their imagination muscles and envision a fairy world that is breathtakingly beautiful and complex, much like our own!

What is your secret talent? It can be anything – a magic trick, always finding the best parking spot, or something else entirely.

I’d say my “secret talent,” is connecting to animals. I think it is just empathy, really, but being attuned to them makes life feel magical!

If you were to endorse and be the spokesperson for any product, what would it be?

If I were to endorse a product, it would 100% be Traditional Medicinals tea. Drinking hot tea was a habit I developed during cancer treatment that benefitted my GI symptoms and my mental state. Years later, I still start and end every single day with a hot cup of Lemon Balm or Chamomile tea, with a generous heap of raw honey!

What are you most looking forward to in your new role at Cactus Cancer Society?

As the Development Coordinator at Cactus Cancer Society, my aim is to keep growing our mission by ensuring we have resources to reach more of the AYA community, funding to increase our creative coping programs, and garner awareness of who we are and the community we serve. I have the advantage by joining an organization with such fertile ground for growth and wonderful folks tending to it!

Finally, give us a shameless brag, and tell us something you’re proud of! This can be an accomplishment, a piece of cool news, or something you’re really good at doing.

Hmm…this almost sounds too “on brand,” but I think I am most proud of my own creative process since beginning cancer treatment. I tried out blogging, kept a journal, launched a vintage clothing business, showed a collection at Denver Fashion Week, hosted community writing circles, learned to print with botanicals, and wrote poetry. Navigating illness called for a sober perspective and new sense of bravery that nudged me to try things. Some practices stuck and some didn’t, but I’ve been successful at meeting and releasing different versions of myself as I navigate my “new normal,” and I am proud of myself for showing up in illness and in wellness. 

Thank you, Scarlett, for chatting with us! To learn more about our Staff, Board, and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Board, check out Our Team.