Each year, we celebrate National Cancer Survivor’s Day. But Lynda Dyer doesn’t need to be reminded, because she’s living proof of cancer survivorship.
When Lynda was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago, she didn’t cry, although, she remembers her family cried.
“I didn’t know anyone who had breast cancer,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about it.”
Lynda underwent surgery, chemotherapy, reconstructive surgery and then decided to start a breast cancer support group.
Today she still leads that support group, New Life. New Hope. Sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Garland, the group started with Lynda and three other women from her church, First United Methodist Church in Garland, where the support group meets on the first Tuesday of each month.
“Women with breast cancer are in and out of the hospital so much, I didn’t want to have the group meet there,” Lynda said. She serves as a Baylor Scott & White – Garland volunteer and has also served as a patient advisor in the breast imaging center to all types of cancer patients at Baylor Scott & White – Garland.
The group welcomes women at any stage of the breast cancer experience. “We have a good solid group,” Lynda said. “We mentor each other.”
During school year, Lynda organizes professional medical speakers, ranging from massage therapist speaking about lymphedema to plastic surgeons. When summer arrives, the group enjoys informal roundtable discussions. Last February, the group celebrated nine years of sharing and bonding.
Now a two-time cancer survivor, following her February 2012 diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Lynda believes even more strongly in the group.
“We listen to each other’s stories and we learn from each other,” she said. “We have women who are 25-year survivors and women who are newly diagnosed. Treatments have changed significantly, so we learn from each other.”