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But I recognized early that mastering this discomfort and its root – self-worth – was one of cancer’s many offerings to me: the lesson that I am as worthy as anyone of life and love. Strength sources were everywhere during treatment: my remarkable doctors and healthcare practitioners, regular acupuncture provided by Hope Lives and Goldstone, UC Health Wellness Center massages and physical therapy, friends who fed my family and my soul, staff and teachers at Laurel Elementary, and of course, my beautiful family. But the greatest source of strength were my parents, especially my mom; she kept me whole and focused, and took every single step with me, no matter how painful. I consider myself lucky. Lucky that this happened while I am young and strong enough to fight hard. That it was me, not my boys, husband, parents, sister, friends or family. That we have access to excellent healthcare, good insurance, financial stability. That I have a strong spiritual community in Arkitekt. That I am surrounded by those I call my “beautiful people,” who give, trust, support, love and stand firmly in the muck with me. That I get a second chance. My favorite Emily Dickinson poem opens with, “He put the belt around my life — I heard the buckle snap.” At the point of diagnosis, cancer felt like that belt, constricting my very life, hope and soul. But I now understand the belt as a form of holding, strengthening and girding for all that I hold precious. And I perceive survivorship as both an opportunity and remarkable responsibility – to live fully and in integrity, authenticity and kindness.


instructions carefully and drained and documented all four drain tubes and kept everything clean and sterile. Infections never had a chance with this man in charge. I’m so lucky to have been blessed with such a wonderful husband. I am also blessed with four children, a granddaughter, Madison, and grandson, Marshall, a new granddaughter on the way, and two amazing son-inlaws. Their unconditional love is more than a mom could ever ask for. I would like to thank my family, friends, my working family at Allura and all the clients for being my biggest supporters. I am so grateful for the generosity, flowers, cards, texts, encouraging words and amazing food


that was delivered to our home. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about cancer and my future. However, my belief in God and His promises sustain me each day. I pray for everyone who has gone through or is going through this journey. Stay strong, fight hard and never give up hope! A special thank you to Hope Lives, for all you do and for choosing me and my story. To my loving husband, my amazing sons, my beautiful daughters, my son-in-laws, my sweet granddaughters and grandson. I will fight hard every day to stay with you. You loved me and took care of me through tough times. You did that for me, and I love you all.

Thankfully, our son, John, age 48, and our daughter, Jennifer, age 46, have not had to battle this! In my journey, I had a single mastectomy and had six chemo treatments at the UC Health Cancer Center, and following that I had 34 radiation treatments at the David Walsh Cancer Center in Sterling. I have received exceptional care from the doctors and all of the staff during my treatments. My last mammogram in June was negative. My strong faith in God, my loving husband of 55 years, and family and friends have helped me through all of this! The Hope Lives support has been and will continue to keep me positive! I received a free wig from them which helped my self esteem. I sincerely appreciate all that it offers!


was caught early, stage 1, with no cancer in my lymph glands. The biggest thing that I have learned, because I got cancer, was to let other people help me.  I have always been a caregiver.  I helped out my son when he had cancer.  My brother and I helped our mother take care of our father when he got real sick, just before his death.  Then, after my father passed, my brother and I took care of our mom until she passed.  As a mother, it just seems to come natural to be a caregiver.  But, I found it hard to accept help, so very hard!! My daughterin-law called it a pride issue.  She might have been right.  I just kept thinking that someone else might need help more then I did.     Then I met a group of women who had all gone through breast cancer.  The women on these pages, in this very magazine, and the women who worked to get us all together.  They inspired me, and told me that we all need help. They shared their stories with each of us, just as they have shared with you.  Before I met these women, I would have told you that I was doing just fine.  I thought I was!  After I met them, I felt relief. Like I needed them, but did not even know it.  You know, I almost didn't join this group.  There were a lot of people along the way that kept pushing me to do this.  Thank you, every one of you. I found my strength because of you.  My biggest problem now is that I can't seem to get through anything emotional without crying my eyes out. Including, writing my story. JOANNE HARRIS, CONTINUED FROM PG 40

breast cancer in June 2014. After a double mastectomy, which she chose, and reconstruction, she is now cancer free!


three sons, now 19, 16 and 13. I no longer worry what kind of men or husbands they will make. They rose to the occasion with such responsibility, compassion and care. During my darkest times I found service to be the cure. A dear friend, and my physical therapist, suggested setting up a distribution center for knitted breast prosthetics. We applied for and won a Women Investing in Strategies for Health (WISH) grant. Since then a groundswell of knitters, service providers and My Sister Knits yarn shop have shown great support. We joined the national Knitted Knockers organization and have provided prosthetics to over 300 women in Colorado, free of charge.   From a women for a women. Knitted with love.  Breast cancer is a devastating disease. I am not alone, I walk this path with remarkable women.  THERESA BAIN, CONTINUED FROM PG 41

The opportunity was being a Hope Lives model, and healing and humor were the people of Hope Lives. Talking with these women was the hardest and best thing I could have done and it was the piece that was missing in my own cancer puzzle. As I listened, I heard very different stories, so much harder than my own, but I also heard universal truths that we all shared such as fear, pain, hope, anger, joy, guilt, life and love. I laughed with them and then I cried when I left because once again, God provided the exact thing I didn’t know I needed in the most unexpected way. And this has become my cancer story. I’ve learned to let God have His way in showing me the way through this, and that STYLEMEDIA.COM

2017-09 Lydia's Style Magazine  
2017-09 Lydia's Style Magazine  

Annual Breast Cancer Issue!