We get the chance to talk to some pretty incredible moms here at SheKnows, but few have managed the jaw-dropping feats Chaunté Lowe has as a mom, athlete, and woman. You could be impressed that she’s a four-time Olympian high jumper — with a bronze from 2008 — training for her fifth, assuming Tokyo 2021 happens, at age 37. You could be impressed that she’s a mother of three. You could also stand in awe of the fact that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, had a double mastectomy, and kept training through chemo. All of those things at once? Just wow.
It maybe feels a little bit frivolous to ask a fighter like Lowe to talk to us about her favorite kids books, TV shows, and apps, as we do for this Momsessed column. But then again, those things don’t feel frivolous when they’re part of how you share quality time with your children, and that’s no less true for Lowe.
But first, we veered from those material matters and let Lowe remind us all of the importance of breast-cancer screening. Lowe discovered her own cancer first with a self-exam, and then confirmed her suspicion that it was growing via multiple mammograms. Thanks to early detection, Lowe is looking forward to spending more time with those HGTV shows and reading the Chronicles of Narnia with 13-year-old Jasmine, 10-year-old Aurora, and 7-year-old Mario.
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My advice for other moms on juggling their health and parenting during this time
“Juggling my health and parenting during diagnosis and treatment was very difficult. I had to learn that my time spent with my kids had to be focused more on quality rather than quantity. I focused more on making memorable moments and making the moments that we spent together count, versus counting up all the moments. I knew that in order to be here for my family, I had to prioritize my health and put myself in the best possible position to fight. I spent a lot of time reassuring the kids that everything that I was doing was so that I could get healthy, even though it looked scary from the outside. Sleeping was a massive part of my recovery, and during those times, I had to rely on the help of people that I trusted to step in and help my husband and me with our three kids. My biggest hurdle was letting go of the guilt that I associated with prioritizing my health over everything else in my life, including my kids. As a mom, I was so used to placing everyone else’s needs above my own. In the end, I realized that if I wanted to be here for years to come, I have to put my getting well first.”
What gave me strength and inspiration while battling cancer
“Almost all of my life, I have had a robust faith-based foundation. Being a young survivor only amplified that foundation in how I chose to fight. My husband started a prayer chain of people who we knew prayed. They would pray for me before each appointment for healing, miraculous doctors reports, and strength. I would also seek encouragement every day from within the pages of the bible. What really stuck out to me was loving others just like I love myself. To me this meant taking my battle public to warn and equip other women and potentially men who could face or are facing a breast cancer diagnosis.”
What I want women to know about routine cancer screenings
“Even without a worldwide pandemic, getting a routine breast exam is scary, but worth it. Routine cancer screens help find cancers early, when they are most likely to be treated successfully. In my case I had an early screening because I noticed an abnormal change in my body. Getting a time lapsed repeat screening helped record these changes and identify a need for further investigation. This led to the biopsy, which lead to the to my successful diagnosis, and treatment. When it comes to who should get screened, I recommend going to CancerScreenWeek.org to learn which test the American Cancer Society recommends so that you can talk to your health-care provider.”
The books my kids are obsessed with
“Chronicles of Narnia and Dork Diaries have been a staple in our home for a few years now. Right now we are listening to the audiobook Legends of the Guardians as a family during car rides to and from school. This year I have also branched out as an author and am writing a children’s book, which my kids are obsessed with. It’s already been picked up by a major publisher, so I’m hoping that means other kids will like it as well!”
The snacks I always keep on hand
“Snack are always tricky, especially because I eat so clean now. It’s safe to say, I am always looking for ways to sneak in veggies without them knowing. I am also trying to teach my kids that green is good, so I look for green snacks that are delicious. Right now, my go to are Organic Spinach and Kale Chips made by The Better Chip paired with guacamole or Sabra’s garlic hummus, and green smoothies made with Dole’s Fruit n’ Veggie frozen mix and Suja’s Uber Greens organic pressed juice. They love it!”
The apps that make my life as a parent easier
“Sadly, the ‘Find my iPhone’ app is the one that I use the most because I’m always losing my phone. I’m also very fond of Spelling City and Class Dojo. Both of these apps help me be involved with my children’s education.”
The parenting accounts I follow on Instagram
“@PluggedInteam is one of our go-to resources to help us parent our kids. They do book, movie, and content reviews of media targeted toward children and give parents a detailed summary of its contents, so that we can make an informed decision about whether the content complements our parenting style.”
The non-screen things that keep my kids occupied right now
“During lockdown, it was so hard to get activity time in the with the kids, so we spend as much time outside as possible. All of my kids have shown interest in sports, so my husband and I train them in the sport of their interest. We let them go outside and get dirty, and do our best to make sure that have a childhood similar to what we had growing up.”
The TV shows I actually enjoy watching with my kids
“Just like pretty much the entire nation, we are in love with Baby Yoda. We have not missed an episode of The Mandalorian season one or two. We also like watching International House Hunters, Flip or Flop, and Fixer Upper on HGTV. As far as shows tailored toward kids, I like Phineas and Ferb. While I was in treatment, I watched Alexa and Katie with my daughter. It is about a high school girl who was diagnosed with cancer, and how she got through treatment and returned to a regular life.”
The beauty product I never leave the house without
“I love Olay products. I am a third-generation Olay user. My grandma and mom look super young, and I don’t want that tradition to end with me. I take my Olay face wash wherever I go.”
My go-to brand for kids clothing
“My family is a Nike family. I have been a sponsored athlete with them for over 15 years. We love their clothes and shoes and primarily wear the brand. My kids have to wear uniforms to school now and use the Nike by You customization ability to express themselves. They love the uniqueness that comes from creating their own shoes according to their personal style.”