Breast cancer saved her life

Published 12:01 am Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lynda Maddox is shown with her newborn grandbaby, Maddox Brooklyn Kelley. | Courtesy photo

Finding breast cancer was a blessing in disguise for Andalusia’s Lynda Maddox.

Maddox went for a routine mammogram in July of last year, and doctors found a spot on her breast.

“My friend and I had gone together to Montgomery for years and would each have our test and be on our way to have a fun day,” she said. “That so quickly changed when they saw something very questionable.”

Maddox said further tests and biopsies were conducted, and she was told she would have a report the next afternoon.

“I received the call on Friday with (the doctor) saying those three dreaded words – it is cancer,” she said. “My whole world seemed to come to a stop, and you know you have to tell the most important people in your life – your husband, your child and your family and friends. It hurt me more seeing their hurt and questions about surgery and treatments (than being diagnosed with the cancer).”

Maddox had a lumpectomy and had her lymph nodes removed.

The pathology the report confirmed it was invasive ductal cell carcinoma, but was not in the lymph nodes, she said.

Before Maddox began treatments, she had a PET/CT scan to check for other areas she could have had cancer.

The news was not good.

“The scan showed a large mass in the upper left kidney,” she said. The diagnosis – renal cell carcinoma.

“The doctor said as bad as the news was to have breast cancer, I was so blessed because not having any pain or other symptoms. With the kidney, it would have been too late when discovered, and he could not have done anything for me,” she said. “So, yes, I have been very glad to have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and by keeping my yearly screening they were able to detect something so much worse than breast cancer.”

Maddox completed treatments – eight chemo treatments and 36 weeks of radiation – in January.

She said when she was diagnosed, she turned to her faith in God.

“I immediately remembered my Christian faith, hope and trust that my parents had given to me as a child,” she said. “And I shouted to the Devil that he was not going to take my joy and hope away from me,” she said.

To top things off, Maddox’s daughter, Jessica, announced to her parents that they were going to be grandparents.

“God knew from the beginning, we would need something so special to look forward to and allow the healing to begin,” she said. “God has truly blessed me and my family through all the bad days and has given us our new grandbaby, Maddox Brooklyn Kelley, born March 22.”

Maddox stressed the importance of routine screenings.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for women to have their screenings done,” she said.

Maddox doesn’t feel up to walk in this year’s survivor’s walk at tomorrow’s Relay for Life, but she knows the importance of the event.

“Relay for Life is such a wonderful, powerful group, and I thank everyone who has ever given in support to help further the cure for cancer,” she said.