GC Relay For Life Survivor Spotlight: Lisa Dale
by Margaret Campbell
Lisa Dale had heard all the information that all women do about self-exam and like so many of us had never really taken the advice to heart. She credits a self-exam and the grace of God in her diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
“I didn’t do self-exams and I only found the lump when I did by the shear grace of God,” Dale explained. “After having a biopsy and being told that it was benign, with the advice of my doctor at the time, he suggested that we still remove the knot. On Sept. 29, 2011, at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and five days later I was told it was triple negative breast cancer.”
A diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer is significant. According to the Mayo clinic, this diagnosis means that the cancer is more aggressive and more difficult to treat than the more typical hormone-positive breast cancers.
“On Oct. 18, 2011, I had a double mastectomy and began chemo on Nov. 16,” Dale recalled. “I have been cancer free for seven years.”
Dale credits several people in her life for helping and inspiring her along the way.
“I had an amazing support system through all of it, but my kids were my greatest inspiration for sure.
“Wanda Newton — God knows I don’t know what I would have done without this woman. She took me to all my appointments and treatments; she did everything for me. She was my saving grace.”
The effects of a cancer diagnosis are different for everyone.
“I know that everyone’s journey is different… you hear those infamous three words, ‘you have cancer’ — and your whole world changes. There is nothing that anyone could have said or done to have ever prepared me for what I was about to face, but I never had to face it alone.”
As a seven-year cancer survivor, Relay For Life is a bittersweet evening for Dale.
“You celebrate life, but you also remember the ones who lost theirs.”