Flora Lin – Breast Cancer Success Story

Worth the fight

Flora Lin – Breast Cancer Success StoryThen a couple years later, in 2012, she found another lump.Flora Lin thought breast cancer was behind her. She’d already had a mastectomy and chemotherapy and had finally gotten past side effects like neuropathy and fatigue.

“It was unreal,” she says. “There was a lot of anger but also a lot of trusting in God and knowing there is always hope.”

Flora’s second dance with cancer was harder than the last, with chemotherapy, a lumpectomy, radiation, and trastuzumab infusions.

Flora Lin – Breast Cancer Flora Lin has beaten breast cancer twice,
and now she's overcoming the effects of
treatment. How? With kickboxing– the
punching bag is the tumor, she says –
and a little help from Methodist Richardson's
STAR Program.

Her past side effects returned, along with tightness on her left side in the chest and arm. She was referred to physical therapist Jon Pleasant, PT, CHT, at Methodist Richardson.

“Jon is great,” Flora says. “He knows a lot about breast cancer and was able to help ease my tightness.

My neuropathy also improved, and lymphedema never set in, which was my goal.”

Physical, occupational, speech, and massage therapies are components of Methodist Richardson’s new STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) Program®.

“This program is dedicated to identifying, preventing, and addressing side effects of cancer treatment,” says Sam Bibawi, MD, medical director of the Methodist Richardson Cancer Center and Flora’s medical oncologist. “We want to help restore our patients to the best possible quality of life.”

Flora has since taken up kickboxing, and with advice from the STAR Program team, she can adjust her workouts to not disrupt scar tissue.

“I’m sweating, my heart rate is up, I’m stronger, I’m more muscular — but I’m protecting myself,” Flora says. “It’s also my stress relief. The punching bag — that’s the tumor.”

For women facing the effects of breast cancer, she says: “There is something that can help, like therapy with the STAR Program. Address the problems that you can work on, and you’ll see the improvement.”

From the winter 2014 issue of Shine magazine.