by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--Imagine finding out, you have cancer. What would you do? Who would you turn to for help?
Those are the first things that crossed LuAnn Lane's mind when she discovered she had breast cancer.
Lane is a piano and theory teacher at Odessa College. Getting a phone call telling her she had breast cancer was hard enough. Combine that with just having lost her husband to cancer, about six months earlier.
"Anyone who hears the big C word, who hears cancer, has fear for their life. That's unavoidable, I think," Lane said.
Lane lost her husband to colon cancer 2005. It's a memory that was still fresh in her mind when she got the news about her own condition.
"I'll never forget the day of getting a phone call and the doctor telling me, 'I wouldn't do this over the phone but you're so far away.' He told me, at that point, it was malignant It was extremely frightening. You're first thoughts are of children. They've lost one parent already. You're what they have. I can't be sick. I don't have time to be sick. I have to take care of my children," Lane recalled.
Luckily, LuAnn's cancer was caught early and able to be treated in time. She and the American Cancer Society are strong advocates for early detection and prevention. That's why events like Relay for Life are so important.
According to Amy Carnes with the Cancer Society in Odessa, "That money will go into our research, education, advocacy and then, of course, our local services. If we can't help, we find out who can. We offer a great resource referral."
The American Cancer Society is proud to call themselves the official sponsor of birthdays.
According to Carnes, "We figure a world with less cancer is a world with more birthdays."
"It does mean a lot. You're still here and celebrating those birthdays and somebody notices that and celebrates that," Lane agreed.
One of the support groups Lane is a part of, is in Midland. It's geared specifically to breast cancer survivors and those who are currently going through treatment. It's groups like this and the other services the American Cancer Society provides that have helped get her through.
"It's The Young and the Breastless. That particular group has been a real support to me throughout my survivorship. It has given me a chance to be there for others who are coming along behind, that are going through treatment and facing the same fears and diagnosis that I received," Lane explained.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in two men and one in three women will be affected by cancer in their lifetime.