People, Places & Events
Cancer Survivor's Tale Offers Hope for Others
By Jeanne Allen Davis
Special to The Monitor
KAUFMAN-"When you have something this catastrophic, you appreciate life."
Cancer survivor Nancy Bayne sees her battle and victory over cancer as the best and worst life has to offer.
"I want to encourage those who have cancer not to give up," she said.
"If you have a strong faith, God will see you through all of this."
Bayne shared her journey, Cancer Chose, Me, I Chose Life at The Servants Bookstore and Coffee Bar, recently.
A self-breast examination led to a breast cancer diagnosis for Bayne in 1996.
A bone marrow transplant followed along with long periods of treatment. Bayne than had a modified radical mastectomy, and later cancer was found in her lungs.
During treatments, Bayne lost the ability to focus, lost her speech, endured extreme bone pain and cramps, lost her fingernails and went into a deep depression.
"I lost all my hair," Bayne said. "It was dehumanizing at times, but I knew it had to be better at the end."
Bayne said the support of friends and family helped pull her through the bad times.
"All the people we knew sent cards and called," she said. "I got more than 200 cards, and we were on everybody's prayer list at church."
Bayne attributes her survival through the battle with cancer to her faith and guardian angels on Earth like Cheryl Wynne of Kaufman, Lyna Blea of Albuquerque, N.M. and husband Bill.
Wynne invited Bayne to visit for coffee and bible study. Bayne said the weekly and biweekly visits built a wonderful friendship.
"Now she is like a sister to me. When you have people like her in your life, you can't lose," she said.
A survivor support group, Renew, at St. Paul Hospital also created bonds with other survivors. The group started with 40 girls, but only eight remain, she said.
An artist and watercolorist, Bayne said she sees life colors more vividly than she did before her bouts with cancer, and "life is anything but boring."
She has been active with Friends of the Kaufman County Library, and First Presbyterian Church. She participates regularly in bible studies, has worked for the Kaufman Chamber of Commerce from 1993-96, and is a pilot.
She also began a walking program to help regain her strength.
Further, Bayne and her husband are building a painted lady Victorian home.
"I have a lot to look forward to. My husband has given me a good quality of life. You see different shades, different colors. everything is much more vivid now," she said
The couple celebrated 42 years of marriage, Feb. 22.
She dreams of writing a book with a sense of humor to help others build hope. " I want the book to be of love, faith, hope and humor," she said.
Her message is simple: "Do self breast examinations." And to cancer patients, "You can do it. Persevere and really get to know yourself and what you are made of at the time."
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