October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and thanks to awareness efforts, breast cancer survivor Lynne Bosworth says women today have access to much more information, resources and support than she did during her diagnosis and treatment 32 years ago.
“I was 34 when I was diagnosed. There was little information available at the time,” she recalls. “I headed to the library to research medical books and journals. I tried to discuss and question the doctor about some of my research. He had no answers other than he did things one way, and no discussion was forthcoming.
“Now, you can go online,” Lynne says. “There is so much information out there. In the past 32 years, awareness of breast cancer is just phenomenal. You don’t have to feel so isolated and alone and uneducated about the whole thing. They’ve come a long way.”
Getting Through Difficult Times
Lynne’s treatment included a modified radical mastectomy, and then follow ups with the bone, chest, liver and spleen scans. Luckily, she’s been cancer free ever since.
“When I was released from the hospital, I didn’t have any clue where to go from there,” she says. With so little information and support available at the time, Lynne was fortunate that a nurse reached out to her. “After I was home, she called me and asked if she could come see me and see if I had any questions. She was the one who introduced me to the American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery. They walked me through the whole recovery process.”
Friends and family also played a critical role in Lynne’s treatment and recovery, as they do for most patients.
“Friends and family took my kids for me because they were young and still in elementary school,” Lynne says of the time during her surgery. “After that I had a friend who came and stayed with me for a couple weeks, and she took care of everything.
“I have a husband who was completely supportive and never made me feel like this was a horrible thing,” she adds.
To those going through breast cancer, Lynne says, “Reach out and get all of the information that you can. If you’re told something, and you have any questions, go further. Seek out all the information because there is so much available today. You really have to be comfortable with what everybody is telling you, and sometimes that requires your own research.”
If you have a friend going through breast cancer, she advises to give her space when she wants it but also be there for her when she needs help or just to talk.
Lynne enjoyed a successful career in accounting and real estate, and ran a gourmet food and gift store with her sister for 13 years. She’s now retired with three grandchildren, and she and her husband live a healthy Go Long lifestyle by actively riding bikes and hiking.
She encourages everyone to support breast cancer awareness efforts. “The fact that people talk about this now, and everything is out in the open gives people the opportunity to deal with cancer in a very positive way.”