The woman next door is a survivor is a series of stories about incredible women in the community that have overcome a mountain of obstacles with a relentless and fearless attitude. Longtime community volunteer Lyn Berelsman was 47 when she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer after a routine mammogram. During her treatment she learned two things: that she was glad she accepted help from others, and as a result, she discovered that she was stronger than she knew.
Lyn reminds other women going through breast cancer that they don’t have to do it alone. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept assistance from others. Family and friends are looking for ways to show that they care, so let them be there for you,” Lyn says.
Lyn discovered that taking a friend or family member with you to appointments was incredibly useful. “Especially when you’re newly diagnosed, you probably aren’t going to be able to retain all that information,” Lyn says “Bring your spouse, a family member or friend to act as a second pair of ears. It’s so easy to forget what your doctor tells you when you are dealing with the emotions of your diagnosis.”
Lyn was apprehensive before her first treatment but found the nurses and oncologists were so competent, caring and friendly that she soon forgot her fears. She also started to make friends with other people getting treatments at the same time. “We would share stories with one another and even a few jokes. I felt like we were on the journey together.”
Lyn also suggests that other breast cancer patients make good use of the resources that their medical team provides. Patients at AdventHealth Cancer Institute Celebration can access services offered by experienced staff. Lyn says, along with support from family and friends, a good attitude and determination were key to helping her during her cancer journey.
This month, in partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we’re recognizing some of the women in our community who are survivors of breast cancer, who have had a recurrence, or who are currently going through treatment. To us, all of these women are survivors in their own right. It is the hope of these women that by telling their stories they inspire and educate other women who are facing a breast cancer diagnosis.