Hand a two-time cancer survivor

Published 10:45 pm Monday, October 25, 2010

Linda Hand, a two-time breast cancer survivor, advises women battling cancer to take it one day at a time and trust in God.

Linda Hand, an American Cancer Society (ACS) volunteer and motivational speaker for Reach To Recovery, a program through ACS, was not only a breast cancer fighter, but is a two-time survivor.

Hand, 65, was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42 and was diagnosed a second time 20 years later.

“I think it is most important for women to take care of themselves,” said Hand. “Don’t just remind the children or husband of things. Also take care of them because early detection is the difference between life and death.”

Hand’s daughter began getting mammograms at age 35, and she realizes younger women are being diagnosed so recommend women begin getting annual check-ups earlier.

Hand’s first diagnosis was discovered and successfully removed because of early detection by performing a Breast Self-Examination (BSE).

“No chemotherapy or radiation was needed, and I returned to my job 10 days after the surgery,” said Hand.

The second diagnosis was a little more complex and was not considered early detection.

“My doctor was just as shocked as I was the second time,” said Hand. “I was getting mammograms, but this time it was larger and a lymph node.”

Hands received 12 treatments of chemotherapy and had to undergo radiation.

“For those fighting breast cancer, my advice is to take it a day at a time and trust in God to help them through it,” said Hand. “It is a rough journey, but faith will give them strength and help them endure.”

Along with working for the American Cancer Society, Hand is the Relay for Life Survivor Sponsor and she also sells T-shirts that read, “fight (pink ribbon symbolic for breast cancer) like a girl”.

Hand sells the shirts for her Relay for Life team and the proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society.