Conquering Cancer With Positive Outlook, Loved Ones’ Support
–Former June E. Nylen Cancer Center patient Lynn Bowman, fourth from right in back row, gathers with her family at a family wedding. The breast cancer survivor celebrated four years of survivorship earlier this year.
Few things slow Lynn Bowman down
From cheering her grandchildren at baseball games and dance recitals, to motorcycling, boating, traveling with her boyfriend and enjoying the outdoors, Bowman, 60, lives life at full throttle.
So in 2013 when a lump in her breast turned out to be stage II cancer, she turned her can-do attitude toward getting the treatment she needed at Sioux City’s June E. Nylen Cancer Center.
Following a lumpectomy and removal of cancerous lymph nodes, Bowman began chemotherapy and radiation at the Nylen Cancer Center, just blocks from her job as a universal banker at First American Bank. Expert care so close to home helped her to not miss a day of work throughout treatment.
Throughout weeks of daily treatments, she had her daughter, sons, their wives, or her sister by her side. Always, she was surrounded by the Cancer Center’s caring, friendly staff.
“We have such great care here,” Bowman says of the local cancer center that serves people throughout the tri-state region. “The doctors, the nurses, radiology department team, support staff, the women at the front desk who greet you by name — I just can’t say enough about them. They’re like family.”
Her optimistic attitude buoyed her through her cancer treatment and any complications that came up.
“I decided early on that I’m in charge, not cancer,” she says. “I don’t remember being angry or asking, ‘why me.’ The only time I really cried was in the shower, washing my hair, and it kept falling out. I said, ‘OK, I’m done with this. I’m in charge. I’m not having hair all over my pillow or coat.”
So she shaved her head, donned a wig, and got on with her treatments and her life.
Everyone celebrated her final treatment.
“Ringing the bell was the best gift ever,” says Bowman of the day in May 2014 she tolled the brass bell in the Cancer Center’s lobby to signal her last chemo treatment. “The room was full of people — all of my family, nephew, nieces, friends, brothers, sisters, in-laws, grandchildren — it was the best day of my life.”
Since that day four years ago, Bowman has continued to embrace life, welcoming two more grandchildren for a total of five, celebrating her daughter’s wedding, and looking to share her positive attitude.
“I’m getting involved with my church with Care Ministries, visiting people in the hospital, nursing home or their own home,” she says. “When I retire I would like to volunteer for Hospice. I would like to give back what they did for my parents.”
Plus, she has a message to share: “I want people to know there is life after cancer. Life is good. And you appreciate it a heck of a lot more.”