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way is love. I have been inspired and challenged by love. I’ve witnessed love that had been sown being harvested in a season of need. I’ve been challenged to set down pride to receive what others had to give. I’ve been humbled by those who have walked this road with me by doing things I determined to do myself and for just being here with me in a very hard place. To those who didn’t know what to say but also didn’t run, I am truly grateful. This would have been a different story without you. And when the way wasn’t as clear, I had this to remind me, something I wrote when it was dark that drew me back into the light: “I’m not afraid of cancer but I am afraid of missing anything that God has for me, especially the invitation to go deeper with Him. There is no fear in love but there is fear that keeps us from His love. Each time, it's scary, this new lesson in trust. It's holding my breath while diving off a cliff and plunging deep into insecurities and lies. It's a choice to be uncomfortable and vulnerable in the dark places while trusting the love that redeems and transforms me. And eventually, it's surfacing again to inhale the longest, purest, most refreshing breath of freedom, of restoration, of redemption. That is the place of no fear. And this is my reminder in the process.“ SYLVIE CARLYON, CONTINUED FROM PG 42

never forget the tears we shed as a family. But we fought together, prayed together, and grew together. I had a bilateral mastectomy Oct. 31, 2014, Halloween. The nurses were so nice. I told them I had dressed up as a cancer patient for Halloween. They could see I was scared, but with Dr.Tsoi and Dr. Clear we reviewed the procedure, prayed together, and went into the operating room. As they wheeled me down the hallway, I kept praying to God that He would guide the doctors’ hands so that all my cancer would be removed and my reconstructive surgery would be a success. I don’t remember what happened next, but I woke up later surrounded by my family. My husband had brought the girls and we were all together. I felt confident. However, I still had a long way to go. After chemo and the surgery, I still had radiation therapy with Dr. Lisella to look forward to! As Dr. Tsoi, my reconstructive surgeon, said, “radiation is the gift that keeps on giving.” That is, even months after my last trip to the radiation clinic, my skin was still proving difficult to operate on. We kept waiting until Dr. Tsoi said the time was


right. After many attempts, we finally had the desired result. There is so much more I could say, but I want to mention especially the great nurses I met during my cancer. Nurses that work with cancer patients are some of the greatest you could ever hope to meet. For example, I will never forget Allison, my Chemo nurse, and how she was always there to cheer me up with news about the Packers. Or, Diane, my reconstructive nurse and how she encouraged me and gave me the confidence I needed to move forward with my new body. Finally, Amanda Lee, who is so sweet, perky, and funny. She reminded me to enjoy reconstructive surgery (as much as that is possible). They all provide great examples of the attention given to me by so many nurses who always cared for me in a gentle, patient way. There is nothing good about Cancer. However, maybe there is one exception: the goodness of people who show their love for you in so many ways, who take care of you, support you, and make it possible to get through this hard journey. NILA CROLL, CONTINUED FROM PG 42

great- grandchildren all under three, circled the wagons. Nila had every reason to live! Always high energy, retiring from two Fortune 500 companies where she and her teams enjoyed great success, she certainly didn’t want to fail this challenge, the biggest one of all, but how much actually rested with her? Was she not also in the hands of oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, and radiation technicians? Aside from her career, she joined Newcomers when she moved to Fort Collins in 1998. Within two years she had become President of Newcomers Association and then Newcomers Alumni. A seasoned event planner, Nila has executed some outstanding events, been an active volunteer in the political arena, and various women’s ministries. The May 2015 annual checkup seemed to go allright, until a call summoned her to return for an ultrasound, followed by a needle biopsy. Now began the journey to seek out an oncologist, surgeon and determine a course of treatment. Nila was referred to Dr. Petit who has an ongoing study in which radiation is administered at the time of surgery. A short time prior to surgery a dye is injected which is absorbed by the lymph nodes in the breast. The surgeon was easily able to search for cancer in these lymph nodes, and when they were

negative, a lumpectomy was all that was needed. This procedure seeks to avoid the 45 daily treatments of radiation that are normally required. Two surgeons are present, one for the surgical portion and the other to bathe the breast area in radiation. It was necessary to be over 60 years of age for this procedure. Nila qualified and then some! The next six weeks were a blur of anxiety, pain, weakness and a burning sensation from the inside out. The radiation made her feel tired and edgy, but in about six weeks like magic, she began to feel much better. Funny how small things bring joy to a miserable time in one’s life. Nila is a scant 5’ in height, her oncologist, Dr. Farrah Datko was also vertically challenged, and Nila noted she had never had such a short doctor before. It always made them both smile. At least they always saw eye to eye. It has been said by others so many times, and runs through each person’s experience, different as they all are, that we are “precious in God’s sight.” He really cares for us, and His promise “never to leave us or forsake us” is born out in every story we hear. He provides the peace and the hope so desperately needed at such a time as this. KIM ELLIS, CONTINUED FROM PG 43

day, but also my 25th anniversary at the vet hospital AND my 29th wedding anniversary to my husband! I started to feel a little more ‘normal,’ if that was even possible, but the next stage caught up to me really fast…radiation. From the end of September to the first of November my burns around my radiation area continued to get worse and worse, but my courage kept me strong, as well as my family at home and work family. The nurses, friends and coworkers all around the vet hospital at CSU put together a meal train to help, sent cards and good thoughts with well wishes, too. After radiation it seemed up from there, because I finally began to heal not only physically but emotionally and mentally, too. The new year had come around and 2017 was a start of new beginnings! In March of 2017 my expanders from the double mastectomy were finally removed and replaced with the implants. It was yet one more step in the direction of being normal (or me) again and was the closest thing I would have again to the real deal. A couple months later in June of 2017 I had one of the last steps of nipple reconstruction. This was probably one of the most emotional times of all because I could physically feel whole again and could see the light at the end of my journey that I had STYLEMEDIA.COM

2017-09 Lydia's Style Magazine  

Annual Breast Cancer Issue!

2017-09 Lydia's Style Magazine  

Annual Breast Cancer Issue!