Oxidine celebrates life as she battles cancer

Source: Independent Tribune / Erin Kidd

Lisa Oxidine has a new outlook on life after her experience with breast cancer. She recently celebrated her 50th birthday and while some would be depressed about turning half-of-a-century old, Oxidine said it was a blessing since she has been living with terminal cancer for several years.

Her journey began when she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes when she was 32-years-old.

“The first time I got it, it was pretty advanced. We had to be aggressive with treatment,” she said.

She underwent a mastectomy on her left side and six hard months of chemotherapy, but she beat it. And she spent the next 14 years cancer free.

She was on a trip to see an Atlanta Braves game all those years later when she started to feel like something wasn’t right.

“I started getting short of breath when we would go anywhere,” Oxidine said. “I went back to work on Monday and told the provider I worked for my symptoms. He did an x-ray on my lungs and they were cloudy.”

An echocardiogram showed there was fluid around her heart, known as pericardial effusion, and several more scans showed that her breast cancer had spread to her liver, both lungs and all of her lymph nodes in the lung area.

On that day in October of 2012, she was diagnosed with Stage IIII HER2-positive terminal cancer. HER2-positive breast cancer is characterized by aggressive growth and affects approximately 20-25 percent of people with breast cancer.

“At that point I just figured there was no way, that they would basically tell me to go and enjoy my life,” she said. “They agreed to start aggressive chemo again and I lost all my hair again.”

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