Lori NoelBreast Cancer Survivor Stories
Lori Noel has been working at Lee Health for nearly four years, and she is a Breast Cancer Survivor! She is a strong and inspiring woman who’s story is one that provides hope to every woman who is fighting their own battle against breast cancer.
Four little dots, that was all that it took for Lori’s life to be completely changed. A routine annual mammogram showed a small, circular cluster of four little dots, and her first thought was that it was nothing to be worried about; but when the results of her biopsy came back on an early Monday morning, Lori learned that she was wrong. At 45 years old, Lori was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, but thankfully, it was caught early.
“I was driving to work on a Monday morning and my physician called me and just said, ‘Hello Lori, you have breast cancer, when can you come in to discuss your options?’ I was in shock because I had just had the biopsy the Thursday before, and the radiologist said she was confident that it was nothing.”
Within nine days of the phone call from her doctor, Lori had a lumpectomy, which provided her comfort in knowing that the cancer was out of her body. She would then undergo 33 radiation treatments, and she was put on an estrogen inhibitor, Tamoxifen, for five years to reduce the risk of recurrence. Throughout her treatment, Lori kept her four young granddaughters and all of the other women in her life who she wanted to set a positive example for in mind, so she fought, and even on her hardest days, she stayed incredibly strong.
“Unlike many others that are stricken with this disease, my prognosis was good,” Lori said. “I wanted to be there for the people that didn’t have the support and prognosis I was fortunate to have. I try to remain positive every day and encourage others to do the same. I try and focus on helping others find strength with their challenges. No matter who the person is that I hear has cancer, I reach out to them and let them know I am there for them for anything they need, a ride to treatment, meal train, develop private websites for family and friends to continue supporting their friend and loved one through this battle.”
Lori’s daughter-in-law asked her to do a breast cancer Walk in Naples, which would take place two days after her lumpectomy. Lori, known as Lala to her grandchildren, and her team all wore shirts saying “Save Lala’s Tatas” in honor of her own ongoing battle with cancer. Lori’s mom was in town for her surgery and treatment, and joined in on the walk too.
“When we went on the breast cancer walk, we were asked how long we had been survivors, and at the time, I was a two day survivor,” Lori said. “My mother who is not one to talk much or say much positively, got on the microphone and spoke of my diagnosis, my strength and how proud she was of me. It meant the world to me.”
As a survivor, Lori knows exactly what it feels like to go through a battle against breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness Month provides her, and other survivors, and opportunity to share their inspiring stories and words of advice to the women who are currently fighting their own breast cancer battles.
“Be positive and get more than one opinion on treatment,” Lori said. “Share your story with others because they might have a story to tell as well that could help you both. Renew and continue your faith journey, and realize that no matter what, God is there for you.”
We are so proud to share the stories of our own Lee Health survivors during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each survivor’s unique story and incredible strength are an inspiration to us all!