Survivor Stories 2014:
1. How did you first find out you had cancer?
I was having pain in my lower right side and went my doctors thinking there was a simple remedy for the pain. After running some test in the office and all of them coming out negative, he sent me to get a CT Scan. That was the beginning of many tests and biopsies which determined my breast cancer had come back after 13 years and the diagnosis was now stage 4, incurable and in my bones.
2. How did you react when you heard the news?
I was shocked to hear the words! I thought my cancer journey was over 13 years ago! And to hear that this time I was not curable just sent my world up side down.
3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?
My first treatment was radiation to my bones. After that I was started on Femara and also monthly infusions of Zometta. A year ago my doctor switched me from Femara to Tamoxifin. So I am currently on Tamoxifin and Zometta.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that these meds keep working.
4. What most surprised you about your treatment?
I was surprised to find out I would be on some form of treatment the rest of my life. When one treatment quits working, then I would go on to another. Even though I had had breast cancer before, I knew very little about metastatic breast cancer. I had no idea that 30% of women who have gone through breast cancer treatment will have a relapse at some point.
5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
The advice I would give to a newly diagnosed women would be to have an advocate with you at your doctor visits. Another set of ears always helps. Also, kind a support group that you can share your thoughts, feelings and fears to. Surround yourself with loving and supportive people.
6. How long have you been cancer free?
I wish I could say I was cancer free, but I’m not. I will continue to take medicine to slow down the growth of the cancer cells in hopes that a cure will come.
7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?
It is much more important to me now that I surround myself with positive, happy people and do the things i enjoy. I don’t know how much time I have left but I sure know that what time I do have will be spent having as much fun as possible and enjoying the wonderful family and friends that I have been blessed to have.
There is always light, even on dark days.
8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
To the wonderful moms out there……….We will never be perfect and we don’t have to be. Our love will always shine through to our children. Show your children unconditional love. That love will get you through the crazy years of pink hair, pants that should have a belt on them, drivers training, how our teenagers are embarrassed to be seen with us, etc.
Above all, keep your sense of humor! They will grow out of it.
Cindy Lane’s battle with breast cancer began when she was 39 years old, a homemaker with three children under the age of 13 and separated from her husband. The tumor was a grade 2 and aggressive. A full mastectomy, six months of strong chemotherapy, and five years of tamoxifen, which was to keep the cancer from coming back, would put her in remission five years later, however, her battle wasn’t over.
Thirteen years after her first diagnosis, excruciating pain in her hip put her back in the hospital for tests. The breast cancer was back, only this time it metastasized to her hipbone and ribs. It was stage 4 and incurable. She will be on some sort of treatment for the rest of her life, but she’s determined to help other breast cancer survivors in the fight.
On October 2, Cindy and her Fred Astaire dance partner, Sergio, will dance to the Rumba in support of The Pink Fund. On October 2nd, she performed in Dancing with the Survivors in Bloomfield Hills, MI, a fundraising gala held in 20 cities nationwide. Dancing with the Survivors features breast cancer survivors paired with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios for an evening of music, cocktails, food and ballroom dance. All proceeds benefit The Pink Fund, a national organization that provides individuals in active treatment for breast cancer with up to 90 days of financial assistance to cover non-medical expenses, such as health insurance premiums, housing, transportation and utilities.
Donations for Dancing with the Survivors will be accepted through October 31st, 2014. To support Cindy, click here.