At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earlier this year, Kikkan Randall and teammate Jessie Diggins led the U.S. team to its first cross-country skiing gold medal ever, in the women's team sprint event. Sadly, Randall announced this week that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The 35-year-old shared the news with fans and followers on Wednesday via Facebook post.
"The color pink has taken on a new chapter in my life as I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer," Randall wrote.
She also shared a series of photos from the first few days of her treatment, many of which show her surrounded by loved ones. "Although we caught it early and the prognosis is good, my life will change quite a bit in the coming months." Randall added that she has returned to her home in Anchorage to begin treatment at the Providence Alaska Cancer Center.
"It's a scary thing to learn you have cancer and I have wondered every day since how this could have possibly happened to me," Randall wrote. "But I have promised myself that I will remain positive and active and determined throughout my treatment. I am going to bring as much tenacity, strength, and energy toward this challenge as I have throughout my entire career."
She continued, "I began my first round of chemo on Monday surrounded by great friends and family. I made to sure get a gym workout in beforehand, rode my bike to and from the hospital, and wore my happy shoes."
Although Randall didn't disclose exactly what type of breast cancer she's dealing with, she does say it was diagnosed early and that her prognosis is good.
There are a few options when it comes to treating breast cancer, including radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, and the right treatment plan is usually determined on an individual basis. Chemotherapy, like Randall received, is medication that kills cancer cells, but it can come with some unpleasant side effects. Some of the most common ones include hair loss, nausea, and fatigue.
But, although cancer treatment isn't exactly fun, it's clear from these sweet photos and Randall's accompanying message that she's navigating the experience with a positive outlook.