Jill Tonoli’s been an operating room nurse off and on for 37 years. She’s been a calendar girl, and first mate on a Caribbean boat.

She’s also beaten breast cancer twice.

Tonoli is one of several survivors being honored next weekend on pink ice at the Lewiston Maineiacs’ “Pink in the Rink” game night Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, an evening to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Last weekend she was on team Smooth Operators, made up of Central Maine Medical Center operating room staff, for the Dempsey Challenge. (She’s also appeared in a CMMC calendar of breast cancer survivors.)

Before she takes to the ice, we asked about feel-good moments, awkward encounters and pirates. Arrgh. Read on.

Name: Jill Tonoli

Age: 58

Lives? Lewiston

Married, single, relationship? Married

What type of cancer did you have and when? In 1991, I was diagnosed with a stage 3B intraductal breast cancer. In 2001, during a routine mammogram, a very good mammography technician noticed a small “curious” area and notified the radiologist who then ordered another exam, which showed a totally different breast cancer called lobular.

How’re you feeling today? Today I feel so good that I can’t even fake sickness to get a day off from work.

The best sort of encouragement someone’s given along the way: In 2001, I had decided to have my head shaved before it began to fall out from the chemotherapy. My daughter was away at college but knew the day and time that I was seeing my beautician. She called me just as we were about to start to tell me how beautiful I was.

Any ‘I can’t believe someone just said that’s? Oh, yes several times — which one should I tell you? One of my medical colleagues who knew what I was going through asked about my very obvious wig: “Is that yours?” I replied that as soon as I paid for it that it would be.

If you were in charge of turning the ice pink, what would you use? I would take some of the color from the team’s heart for doing this special night, some pink from the cheeks of the survivors and pink from the hands of the crowd as they applaud for the survivors, and pour it with love over the ice.

Love to hear more about your Bahamas boating. How did that start? My family has “boated” for years. We have cruised the East Coast from Campobello to Key West. Every few years we increased the size of our boat. After several years as “snowbirds” in Florida we began to cruise the Bahamas. We made many friends there, but also found natural beauty on the many uninhabited islands and in the turquoise sea surrounding them. Our 65-foot boat was large enough to begin a charter business in the Bahamas. We were lucky enough to make friends with all who came aboard. We still visit with many of them.

Any pirate stories? I have read many stories about pirates, even recently, so they are always on my mind. The scarier reality is the unpredictability of the seas. One gray day we were hurrying to cross Whale Cay Passage to return guests to their departure island. Whale Cay Passage is notorious for immense seas particularly during a rage. In the early ’90s a seasoned captain capsized with his 13-year-old daughter aboard. The young lady and several crew were drowned. The passage was all right as we began but grew steadily worse as we progressed. As we neared the end of the passage a 20-foot rogue wave came thundering down on us. A wall of water was just behind the boat. It picked us up and we “skied” down the wall with increasing speed, but the captain (my husband) has magnificent skills and was able to maneuver us to safety.

Fun fact about yourself that might surprise a stranger at a cocktail party: I have taken ballet as an adult and have performed on stage.

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