"Every day that I have, I'm going to make sure I spend it helping to raise awareness."
Lana Moss was no stranger to breast cancer when she learned she had it. This would be her second time battling the disease. She had previously been a seven-year breast cancer survivor. “I have always been faithful about receiving my mammograms, because I know that’s how breast cancer is best detected. What I didn’t know is just how beneficial it was until I experienced breast cancer for myself,” she says.
For Lana, everything happened quickly the first time. “My diagnosis was Stage 2, and I was told that it was an aggressive form of cancer. Dr. Hall was ready to be aggressive with the treatment,” she explains. “He was with me through it all, from start to finish. His expertise helped reassure me that I would be okay. That’s exactly what I said when I found out… ‘I can do this. I have to be okay.’ And I believed that I would be.”
The first time through, Lana called her son and daughter to deliver the news. Each of them reacted very differently, but both of them provided unwavering love and support as she endured this. “My daughter was very upset and emotional,” recalls Lana. “She was determined to go with me to every appointment, and she did so that she could know what was happening and what I was going through. My son lives out of state, so he could not physically be here, but he constantly called to check on me and made sure that I knew he was there for me. I’m blessed for a lot of reasons, but I count my kids as two big ones.”
Lana was clear for the next seven years until just recently, when she was diagnosed again. This time around, it was caught at Stage 1. “My first experience with breast cancer affected my right breast. My second experience involves my left breast. And it has been a completely different experience,” she notes. “The treatments are more advanced, so I’m not being treated the same way that I was seven years ago. My treatment is shorter than my first experience though. The isolated radiation is more advanced now than last time, but both times I have been very comfortable and not sick at all…I’m very grateful for that.”
Lana’s kids were less emotional the second time around but just as worried. “Since the first diagnosis, my entire family is now a huge Relay for Life supporter. We are actively involved in the Cass County chapter,” explains Lana. “I’ve had support from my kids, from fellow survivors, from close friends and neighbors, and from activity with this wonderful organization. It hasn’t mattered to me whether I have cancer or not… I’m determined to do everything I can to raise awareness and help find a cure!”
Lana shares her story from a perspective of faith, strength and pure joy that is contagious. “You know, I thank God for cancer,” she says. “He brought me through this experience to show me just how important life is, and how much my friends and family mean to me. It has made me stronger and given me character, and God knows what a character I am!”
“I truly believe that you are a survivor every day that you live after you’ve been diagnosed. Every day that I have, I’m going to make sure I spend it helping to raise awareness.” As Lana lives out her legacy of inspiration and strength, she contributes to cancer awareness in the most meaningful way.