“I didn’t think I could fit the appointment into my morning,” said Lane, 49, a loan officer at Southeast Mortgage. “I had a mammogram the previous year, and everything was fine, so I thought about skipping it this one time. I had many reasons not to go, but I went anyway. I’m thankful that I did because that mammogram saved my life.”
The day after her appointment, a radiologist called Lane to discuss suspicious findings and asked her to come in for further workup. “I was stunned, but I felt God was going to use my diagnosis to help others.”
An ultrasound and breast MRI detected four tumors. After a biopsy confirmed stage 3 breast cancer, Lane opted for a double mastectomy two weeks later. She said she took a more aggressive approach to “fight this once” and hopefully be done with it.
In hindsight, Lane said she recognized the “Godwinks” that led her to make the right decision that fateful morning six years ago. A community advocate for breast cancer awareness and screenings even before her diagnosis, she knew she had to “walk the walk and talk the talk.”
“How could I be involved in [American Cancer Society’s] Making Strides Pensacola, where we tell women to put their health first - and not follow suit?” she thought. “As mothers, we put the needs of our families first. Our husbands, kids and families need us, but we can’t be there for them unless we make our health a priority.”
Lane understands the profound effect of losing a loved one to breast cancer: her grandmother passed away when she was seven.
“I have the best memories of spending summers on my grandmother’s farm in Iowa, where she taught me how to sew and can vegetables,” she recalled. “I felt robbed of her presence for much of my life.”
Her grandmother and others like her motivated Lane to become involved in Making Strides Pensacola. She has served as a director on the Keeping Abreast Foundation Board, volunteered and supported Making Strides Against Breast Cancer since 2008, has led a Making Strides walking team for 10 years, and served as Event Chair for the 2022 walk.
Lane said she’s grateful for the care she received from doctors and nurses at Ascension Sacred Heart and medical oncologist Dr. James Watkins at Ascension Sacred Heart Cancer Center. This year, she stopped hormone therapy, which she was on for five years to reduce cancer recurrence.
“I could go on all day about how incredible Ascension Sacred Heart was to my family and me through treatment and seven surgeries in four years,” she said. “I truly wish I had a record of all the people who made a difference!”
Now, in addition to being a breast cancer patient and advocate, she is a breast cancer survivor.