The doctors gave her six months to a year more to live, which is the average amount of time someone in her situation, but through a rigorous treatment schedule that included chemotherapy and radiation, the cancer had gone into remission.
Three years later it returned, and feeling alone, Arlook joined a support group.
That's when she heard about the Image Reborn Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and breast cancer survivors with free weekend retreats to connect with others who are in the same situation.
"I went to one and it really helped me change the way I thought about living with stage four terminal breast cancer," Arlook told The Park Record. "During the retreat, we went for long walks, participated in cooking and yoga classes and journaling.
"We also sat around and talked with one another, and during that time, I realized that I wasn't alone on an island by myself with cancer," she said. "There were a lot of others going through the same thing that I was. I had a lot of fun that weekend and developed more inner strength to fight the cancer and not give up."
Arlook's body reacted well to the treatments, and she saw each year that passed by as a gift. So, she decided to get more involved with the community, and became a member of Image Reborn's board of directors.
"When my cancer returned, I had to step down," she said.
But that didn't stop Arlook from finding other ways she could get involved with the community.
One day she had an idea to host jewelry trunk sale fundraisers.
She got in touch with her friend Kristen Petersen, the jewelry representative for Stella & Dot Jewelry and began hosting trunk sale fundraisers around the state.
"Kristen has been a part of these types of fundraisers for many years," Arlook said. "Not only does she sell jewelry, but belts, purses and other accessories."
Arlook will host one of her Stella & Dot trunk sales for the Image Reborn Foundation on Thursday, April 11, at the Park Meadows Country Club, 2000 Meadows Dr., on Thursday, April 11, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Admission is free and will feature appetizers and a cash bar.
Thursday's event was conceived when Image Reborn Foundation executive director Julie Bernhard talked with Arlook about doing a fundraiser for the Huntsman Cancer Institute several months ago.
"Julie asked if I would be willing to do something for Image Reborn, and I was certainly happy to do so," Arlook said. "As you know, the program means a lot to me, because there are many women who feel like they are on an island by themselves. Image Reborn helps them find the balance of life.
"At the beginning of the retreat, you meet women for the first time, and by the end of the week, you're crying with them because they're your best friends," she said.
Arlook talked with Petersen, who agreed to donate all her proceeds from the sale to Image Reborn.
"That way we can make sure we help the foundation sponsor free retreats for these women," Arlook said. "And the prices will be anywhere between $25 to $200, so they items are very affordable.
"It will be a great place to buy Mother's Day presents or gifts for friends," she said.
Also, Park Meadows donated the space and appetizers.
"They have been very supportive to the cause," Arlook said. "It's great to see how much people respect what we're doing. I think this will be a fun event."
Unfortunately, this year, Arlook's cancer spread again.
"I'm currently on radiation and a brand new medication regiment to shrink the tumors on my spine," she said. "But that won't stop me from hosting this event."
Image Reborn Foundation will present a pre-Mother's Day Jewelry Trunk Show presented by Nina Arlook, a 14-year breast cancer survivor at Park Meadows Country Club on Thursday, April 11, from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. The event will feature appetizers, a cash bar and fun Stella & Dot Jewelry will also be part of the exhibit. Admission is free and proceeds from the jewelry sales will benefit the Image Reborn Foundation. For more information on the Pre-Mother's Day Jewelry Trunk Show, contact Julie Bernhard at 435.640.5119 or firstname.lastname@example.org .