Stories from a Survivor: Meet Sylvia

I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 1994. After treatment, I continued with my life at home, work and athletic pursuits, like long-distance running, biking, swimming, tennis and yoga. In 2013, all of this came to a halt. I was diagnosed with a local regional recurrence. The treatments were long, awful and extremely debilitating. After it was all over, I was surprised that within 4 months, I was back swimming, doing Zumba, biking & yoga and working again as a professor. Tennis & running were, sadly, ended.

At the end of 2016, I was diagnosed with MBC in my lungs. A clinical trial left me debilitated. At that point I decided to move to NC and begin treatment at LCI. Although physically impared, I was blessed to find an exceptional caring oncologist, Dr. Hellner and Integrative Services and Supportive Oncology recommended by Teri Layzell, LCSW. The services and caring providers helped me in body, mind, and spirit. While I cannot do many of the things I did before, I can still have much life in me. 

I’ve always been a proactive, positive, & energetic person. But each cancer progression set me back. I know that my physical state influences my mental state. From the beginning LCI, I profiled from Healing Touch, Acupuncture and Oncology Massage, as well Mindfulness Meditation, Yoga, and Chair Yoga-Qigong. These services helped me tremendously with energy and a renewed enthusiasm for life. With each new treatment, I would fade, but I was able to rise again with the help of my providers.

When the pandemic hit, I could no longer count on these services or go swimming. I was down in the dumps, but then I started getting videos online from Supportive Oncology. What a life-line! When I’m fatigued, the Meditation, Chair Yoga, and Healing Touch Yoga videos help me get through the tough days until I am physically able to walk, ride a stationary bike, and sing again. I would advise others to explore these services. They have kept me going, helping me keep strong in mind and body. I am so grateful to my wonderful instructors and providers!