I had the opportunity to meet Sherry Lane a few years ago while working an event with Ulta Beauty. I was immediately drawn to her! She is such a bright light, beautiful, and so friendly. I could tell she was a really special person. Shortly after meeting, we became friends on Facebook and have kept up with each other here and there. We haven’t talked much throughout the years, but I always have to stop and chat when I see her. Personally, I am someone who is very passionate about breast cancer awareness, and I quickly learned Sherry was too. And there was a really big reason. Sherry has her own breast cancer journey.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I reached out to Sherry and asked if she’d share a bit about her breast cancer journey. She said she definitely would! And as you’ll read, Sherry has gone through a lot. And yet, every time I see her… she’s there with a huge smile and kind words. That says a lot about the kind of brave, strong, resilient woman that she is.
Thank you, Sherry, for taking the time to share your story with us.
A Breast Cancer Journey – Sherry Lane
My journey is, to say the least, a complicated one. I was diagnosed in March 2016. I was 44 years young and there was no history of breast cancer in my family. I jokingly call breast cancer my “bonus” cancer because I was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma five days before the discovery of breast cancer. Mesothelioma was found in a cyst in my abdomen during fibroid removal and fertility exploratory surgery. My husband of less than one year and I were on a fast-track fertility plan due to our ages. Slides of the cyst were sent off as far as Chicago because my doctors really were not sure what this was.
Once cancer was discovered, I was told I needed an emergency hysterectomy and other organs to ensure no further risk of activity. At the appointment in which we were planning this surgery, I told my doctor/surgeon that through self-examination I had discovered lumps in my breast on the same side of the body as the cyst. My doctor ordered tests immediately and set an appointment with a breast specialist in the same building. The first focus was to determine if this was one cancer rapidly moving or two different cancers. Luckily, it was the latter.
The sound of the two cancers was not music to my ears, but it meant they could treat one at a time. My breast cancer was hormone positive which gave me enough time to have a second surgery and heal some before scheduled lumpectomies. Yes, this was my second core surgery in three months. It was like having two C-sections in three months without a baby as a result. I was extremely overwhelmed with the vast amounts of information from five different doctors during that time. I know family and friends wanted to help by supporting me but honestly, it was difficult to discuss when I was waiting for answers sometimes myself.
My doctors were amazing, and I had a breast specialist that called me personally with the results from every test. While healing from hysterectomy there was a possibility of chemotherapy and radiation from the first cancer, we scheduled lumpectomies and in six weeks I had third surgery. After my lumpectomies, it was determined I would only need radiation treatment thus far and I would have frequent PET/CT scans to follow any activity with the mesothelioma. My doctors worked together to ensure if treatment had to happen with both, they would be separate.
I must share that this whole experience was mentally, physically, and spiritually draining. Prayer was constant and counselling became necessary. Not having control over my body and situations was very scary. Radiation treatment ended and I RANG THE BELL! Praise God! I will be changed forever, every year I discover a new Sherry. Through this journey I have made new survivor friends, spoke at engagements, been on panels, and had several programs for fundraising and support. All those people and connections are priceless to me.
My takeaways from this journey are to trust yourself and treat yourself with some grace. It is okay to not feel or be okay and accept help. There were times when it was lonely, but my favorite Bible verse is “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God”-Isaiah 41:10
Here are some photos Sherry shared too:
If you would like to share your own breast cancer story, please email us.