49-year old Rene Syler, believe it or not, was the 39-year old who once seemed to have it all. She was one of the anchors on “The Early Show” on CBS and had just built her dream home with her husband. She commuted back and forth between New York and Texas to pursue her dream, not knowing about the struggles that were ahead. First, she lost her job. Then, two weeks after losing her job, she had a mastectomy I had to have a mammogram every year because I was at the age, but also because of my family history. Every year I would have a biopsy after the mammogram because there was always something that needed a closer look. It got to the point where it just wasn’t really how I had envisioned my life. And that’s when I made the decision [to have a preventive mastectomy]. Rene says that going through her trials made her a tougher woman and helped her to gain a stronger sense of clarity about her life. She went on tour with her book, “Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book Of Parenting” to keep things going. Then, things kept getting worse. Somewhere on a plane I got asthmatic bronchitis. I was in the hospital for three days pumped full of all this medication. When I got out, I had a meeting at CNN and I went right to the hairdresser and got my hair relaxed. A week later it fell out. It was really this journey of self-exploration and acceptance — that’s when I let my hair grow in natural. She says that although she thought about going back on TV, she was a “woman of a certain age,” meaning that some opportunities would simply not be given to her. She then pursued her online career, with her blog and writing opportunities, along with speaking. Although her career hasn’t been what she thought it would be, she is finding that the situation suits her better than she would have expected. I never ever thought I would be in this place. I never saw myself doing anything else but anchoring the news, and I certainly didn’t see myself working as hard as I am, or struggling the way that I am. I wish I had a dollar for every time I pulled into my driveway and broke into tears because I was like, “Is this going to work?” When you work for people your entire life, the idea of being able to do whatever you want, to be your own boss is a really cool and wonderfully freeing thing. Sometimes all of that freedom is scary, but that’s what I would say is the most gratifying. Rene goes on to explain that even though she was put through a series of trials that put her to the test, she was able to keep moving forward with that which was in front of her and find her true calling. She lost her job, her hair and her breasts, but she can now proudly say that she is glad to have found herself. To read more about Rene’s journey, click here.