Season 2 Ep 5: Lindsay Northrop, two-time breast cancer survivor sharing her experience with self advocacy and genetic mutations


 

This week on the Getting Better Podcast, we are talking with Lindsay Northrop,  bringing you another episode to encourage and empower the cancer community. Her name may be familiar to you because she was one of the contributors to my book Better Together and many of you have read her story and heard her wisdom there which I am really looking forward to diving into even more here on the podcast today! Lindsay is a two-time breast cancer survivor being diagnosed at 36 and 38. She is passionate about self-advocating for your cancer care and being informed and empowered regarding your family history and genetic mutations. I can't wait for you to meet her so listen to the episode above, on iTunes HERE, or read the transcription below. 

Episode Transcription: 

Jessica Walker
Welcome back to The getting better podcast with another episode to encourage and empower in the cancer community. I'm your host, Jessica Walker. And today I'm speaking with Lindsey Northrup, her name may be familiar to you because she was one of the contributors to my book better together, which many of you have read and seen her story and heard her wisdom there, which is why I'm really excited to dive even more into her story here on the podcast today. Lindsay is a two time breast cancer survivor first diagnosed at 36 years old, and then again at 38. And she is passionate about self advocating for your cancer care and being informed and empowered regarding your family history and genetic mutation. So this is going to be a really awesome conversation. And I'm so excited to chat with her and for you to meet her. So welcome, Lindsay. Thank you so much, Jessica. I'm excited to be here. I am so excited to have you here. This is again, like our first time speaking in real life, like we've messaged back and forth so many times with the book and I know so much about you. But it's really exciting to virtually meet. I know, it's finally great to connect in person or virtually exactly as in person as we can this year. But so just to get started for anyone who is new to your story to give a little background, I would love if you could just share where you were at in life. I know you were young 36 where you're at in life when cancer entered the picture for you. 

Lindsay Northrop
Yes. Um, so in 2014, I was a stay at home mom, I have two sons at the time, they were five and seven. So they were still leading, obviously a lot of tension and care. And I really, you know, just didn't have time for much else in my life. Never mind, you know, a cancer diagnosis.but I had been screened prior to getting diagnosed for many years because I had a strong family history of breast cancer. on my father's side of the family. My aunt was diagnosed at 38 and 39. Her paternal aunt died in her 40s of breast cancer. My great grandmother had breast cancer. And my great grandmother's siblings, including one of her brothers also had breast cancer. So we knew something was there in the family.So I was very proactive in getting screenings, I would have an MRI and mammogram every year spaced six months apart. So I really was was kind of in shock a bit when, when the results came back, that there was something on the MRI.

Jessica Walker
So I mean, this is a little bit different than a lot of guests that I've had because many people have had had no family history, cancer is the last thing on their mind. But this is something that really was on your radar, growing up and probably in your 20s and 30s. So when did you At what age did you start getting screened? 

Lindsay Northrop
I started getting screened at 28. They recommended for me 10 years prior to the last person in your favor the youngest person in your family to begin screenings, so I started that. And my son was a bit an infant at the time, my oldest. So it was a little complicated to you know, make time to get those screenings, I made sure to do them. The year prior to my diagnosis, I did have a scare. I had a biopsy that they said that there was a spot taking in a lot of guys. So they did a biopsy. And they said oh, there's a second spot here. And I said oh, are we gonna biopsy at that at the same time? And they said no, it's like a panda. So I said, Okay, well I'm here, you can feel free to, to go ahead and and take a look. And he said no, no, we're just gonna biopsy the spot that has taken in this guy. So I thought to myself, okay, they know what they're doing. You know, I said, My, my, my piece there. And it turns out the following year when they called me back, I said to them, is this the spot that we didn't biopsy last year and the medical professional looked at me and said, if it's cancer, we caught it early. And in that moment I knew I had cancer I there was it just it my heart kind of just just knew, and it was it was it was a challenge. At that point. I just knew that This is going to be a long road ahead.

Jessica Walker

And particularly because you have had family members that I don't know how closely you were a part of their journey, but you, you went to knowing what it entailed moreso than probably a lot of people who are diagnosed. Yes, I did watch my aunt go through cancer two times herself.

Lindsay Northrop

Yes, I did watch my aunt go through cancer two times herself. I was in high school in college at the time. And it was it was challenging for her. And I had always thought, Well, if we find out that I have some sort of genetic component, then I'll go ahead and you know, have surgery preventatively to prevent having cancer. And a year before I was diagnosed, actually, I went and had met with a genetic counselor who mapped out my family's cancer history and suggested that I go get tested for the braca one and two genes to see if there's any mutation in those genes.And it came back negative. And actually a year to the day of getting that bloodwork done. I was on the table, getting my double mastectomy. 

Jessica Walker
I feel like it's so it's so frustrating probably to have been doing all of these preventative things to be advocating for yourself and having these tests done. And then I mean, I'm sure even though it's in your family, and it's not that you would expect it. But you felt, I'm sure blindsided in the way that it did come to be. 

Lindsay Northrop

Yes, Yes, I did. You know, I felt like I was doing everything that I could possibly do to catch this early. And we did catch it early. But, you know, I kind of feel like we could have caught it early, even earlier. But it is what it is. And it brought me to the place that I am where I am today. So I feel like this is kind of my purpose here to kind of share my story and encourage other people and give other people hope, who who may be in a similar situation. Just because my story is unusual, maybe someone can identify with a part or a piece of it, and take that with them and help them get through it.

Jessica Walker

Absolutely. And I'm really excited that you're here today to to do just that. So with your You said you went in for you and you had a mastectomy, could you just walk us through what your treatment journey looked like?

Lindsay Northrop

Sure. Um, I had the double mastectomy first. And my oncologist at the time had said, you know what it looks like we cut it really, really early, you probably won't need any treatment other than the mastectomy, and I thought, Oh, that's great.
However, they did send out my tumor to be tested. There's a test called the Oncotype test. And it measures your risk of recurrence. So they said, as long as your risk of recurrence is low, and you get a no low number, you will not need chemotherapy. But they said, because of your age, and your family history, if you have anything other than a low number, you will require chemotherapy, okay, oh, I was waiting and waiting. Things were being held up by insurance. And finally we got the news that I had an intermediate score. So I ended up needing chemotherapy. So I went through four rounds of AC chemotherapy, and then went ahead and had reconstruction for the mastectomy, and after that, I kind of went on my way and was taking my tamoxifen and was told that I shouldn't have any other real issues. Because my, my cancer was stage one, I had no nodes that were positive. So they felt really strongly that they got everything however, I did have. I had an eight millimeter tumor and the there was significant vascular involvement. Oh, that was their only real concern, but they thought that the chemotherapy would kind of take care of anything that
was leftover.

Jessica Walker
So then At what point just just to have the timeline for everyone, at what point then did you find out that you did have a recurrence? 

Lindsay Northrop
Well, the funny thing was, I was feeling exhausted. After completing treatment, and I would ask about it and say, you know, I'm just really, really tired, I don't understand, you know why I'm not feeling back to normal. And they said, Well, you know, you had chemotherapy, it could take up to a year for you to feel back to normal. So I said, Okay, and I was physically active during my treatment. So, after treatment, I kind of started to get a little more active, and I was running and exercising, and I participated in a live strong program. So I was really trying to do everything I could to kind of keep myself healthy. But I'm a really high energy and individual, and I would my kids would come home from school, and they would be doing their homework. And I'd be like, okay, I just need to close my eyes for 20 minutes, you know, and meet in a nap every day, which was so bizarre to me. And I just, I felt like something just wasn't right. And then in 2016,
I started to feel some heaviness in my arm on the side that was affected by the cancer, and I thought, Oh, geez, while they did take out some lymph nodes there, they took about eight on that side. And they took about five on the other. So I thought, well, maybe I'm getting some new I feels this heaviness and maybe I'm getting a little swelling. And I kind of just was just kind of poking around in my armpit just to see kind of what was going on. And I felt a lump.
and I immediately knew what what was the situation. But since it was around the same time, I had been initially diagnosed, I had all these follow up appointments. So I went to several doctors and said, You know, I feel this lump. What do you think? I was told it might be scar tissue to follow up with my oncologist think it's nothing, it's nothing. A follow up, you're out with her oncologist. So I was like, okay, maybe I'm, maybe something's going on with me mentally. And I'm not dealing. And and I started kind of questioning my mental health at that point. And wondering, am I just like imagining this. And finally, what I had my regularly scheduled follow up appointment with the nurse practitioner at the cancer center. And she felt it and at that point, we kind of felt more than one. And she said, You know what, I, I'm just going to send you to go get tested for an ultrasound. So I went for the ultrasound, and they said, Okay, well, we don't think it's, we can't see cancer, but it's unusual. So we're going to send you for a biopsy. So as I'm having the biopsy, and the needles going into my arm, the woman performing the biopsy is telling me Oh, this is nothing, you cut yourself shaving. This is just a reactive live note. I see this all the time. So I left thinking, Okay, I'm fine. I'm totally fine. I don't know. You know, clearly, I'm just imagining this, and fine. But then they had said a week, it would take about a week to get the results back. And a week later, I really hadn't heard much. So I went online to check my electronic medical record to see if I'm like, it's probably nothing. So they didn't even call me online. And it says it's malignant. And I actually started hyperventilating a little bit. I'm sure my older son asked me what was wrong, he's like, you're breathing funny. And I said, I just need to go outside for a minute. And my husband was he was at an appointment. And I was just, you know, kind of calling my parents and talking to them. And, and I just couldn't believe that what I was reading on the screen was actually true. And of course, at this point, it's like seven o'clock at night. And nobody's around, you know, taking the call. So I had to wait till the next morning. You know, where the whole night you're just thinking the worst. And I called my doctor the next morning and she apologized, there was a miscommunication and who was supposed to contact me, but immediately, we were kind of off and running with surgery again to remove lymph nodes under my armpit. So I had of an axillary dissection. And they removed 14 additional lymph nodes from my left armpit. And when the pathology came back, 10 of them were positive. Which was a shocker to everyone. Yeah. And in between that period of actually having the surgery and you know, kind of finding out that I had the recurrence. You know, there was additional testing to make sure that I could have treatment. So I had a CT scan and a bone scan to make sure that it was only the localized area, which was, thank God. Yeah. It was it was trying. And after the I hailed from the axillary dissection, I went on to have more chemotherapy.
And then took a little break and had some had radiation. After radiation was complete, I decided to go ahead, given that by this time, I had known that there was a reason for the strong family history, I actually found out that I have a Pol, B two, genetic mutation, okay.That most likely caused the cancer and put me at higher risk for cancer. I found this out. During my first round of chemotherapy, back in 2014, I had actually seen an article in The New York Times, the day before I started chemotherapy. And it said it had talked about this new discovery of this property to gene that demonstrated that it was that people were at higher risk for breast cancer. So when I met with my oncologist, before I started chemotherapy, I said, You know, I read this article, do you think this is something that I can be tested for? And she said, Yes, I think we should test you for that. And it turns out, that's the mutation I have. And kind of put a little
piece to the puzzle, I guess and helps kind of frame the rest of my treatment from then on. Even though they don't know much about my mutation, because it is, you know, kind of fairly new, newly discovered and newly researched, they were able to kind of form some treatment decisions. So when kind of going back to 2016, when I had the recurrence, because my cancer was hormone positive, I decided the best thing for me would probably be to remove my ovaries and tubes to kind of lessen any risks of further recurrence and mutation. They say there's a higher risk of ovarian cancer. And people without mutation, there is no ovarian cancer in my family. But I just felt that by removing my I was done having children and I just felt like it was a good option for me at that point. To do that.

Jessica Walker

So many things I want to dive into with what you just shared. I mean, first off, it just seems like a consistent theme with your experience that self advocacy has been really important. And just following what you feel you need to do has shaped your journey. And I just it's so impressive, and I'm interested, like,
is that just something that you inherently had? Did you find it difficult to sometimes like, like, not speak against what the doctors are saying, but like, say like, I I think we need to dig into this more, I found this thing that I think I should be tested for. And I feel like that's difficult, because a lot of times people think like the doctors know everything, like I'll just do what they say but like sometimes you have to take the reins and and make some stuff happen. And so what does that what was that like for you?

Lindsay Northrop

So I don't think any anytime you're kind of going against the grain and I guess is always a kind of a challenge. And it's always uncomfortable, I feel like but I also feel that it's really important to partner with your medical theme and feel like you're empowered in your decision making to make decisions as a group and really feel comfortable with the people that are on your team. I actually met with an oncologist early on in 2014 in my when I started my treatment, and it just wasn't a good match for me. Mm hmm. I went and had a second opinion and found my current oncologist and I feel comfortable with her and I trust her immensely and that's a big part of it, as well as trusting your medical team. And really having collaborative conversations with them. And having them hear you is is essential. And that's that's something I would encourage anyone going through cancer treatment is to really surround themselves with a cancer team that They really feel a high level of comfort with and feel comfortable going to them and saying, Hey, what about this? Or I've read about this, could you tell me a little bit more about that? I, every time I go see my oncologist now I'm I say to her, so what's the latest research about probably two or what she's heard about breast cancer. And she's always, you know, indulges me and and shares her her wisdom. But I feel like if the more informed you can be and, you know, obviously, there's a lot of misinformation out there too. So you really dive into reputable sources, but to take that information and say, Hey, you know, can we talk about this? Can we talk about that? And also, though, you know, your body best? Yeah. to kind of say, Well, something here does not feel right. Can Can we explore this a little bit more,

Jessica Walker 
is really, really something that I think, you know, it's hard to do sometimes, but it's really essential. And in, you know, your cancer care, such a great point that not only can do you try to be as important as possible, and make sure that you're speaking up for yourself when something doesn't feel right. But also that key component of putting yourself in an environment where you feel heard, which whether that means going to a new, a new oncological team getting a new hospital, like that's such such great advice. And I couldn't agree more, because that was very much our, our experience as well. And now we were in a situation where we do feel heard, and we do ask these kinds of questions. And it makes such a difference. I'm so glad you brought that up. And the other thing I wanted to talk about was with the gene mutation. So I feel like for people who know anything about gene mutations, which myself I know quite a quite little. But like with breast cancer, of course I've heard of Baraka Baraka, one Baraka too. But that's it, that's pretty much all I've ever heard of, and if to hear that there are other ones. And if I know that there's like, that's a thing, of course, but it's like, you don't hear about those as much. What do you recommend to people who do have that family history do? How do they explore these kinds of other possibilities? 

Lindsay Northrop
Well, I found force, which is a nonprofit, hereditary cancer organization. It stands for facing our risk of cancer empowered, and I actually volunteer for them, and have been volunteering that for them for a while. But I came upon them and found all these resources for people who have a family history of cancer. And this is before I even knew of my mutation. And that there's so many other mutations other than the braca, one and two genes out there. And, and I've kind of made it my I don't know if it's my mission, but you know, to kind of spread more awareness of other kind of lesser known mutations that can put people at a higher risk of breast cancer. Because when I mentioned, oh, I have a policy to mutation, everybody's like, what is that? I don't know, I never heard of that. And I was like, I hadn't either until I had one. I think it's really important to find those resources, or meet with a genetic counselor. Just to talk to you if you do have a family history of cancer, and it doesn't necessarily have to be breast cancer. It could be any type of cancer, that could put someone at higher risk or or cause them to have a mutation, I have a friend who she had various different kinds of cancers in her family, and she ended up with breast cancer. And when they tested her, she had a paltry two mutation, as well. So there's, there's a lot out there that, you know, we're still learning about these gene mutations But there's also a lot of great resources out there that can help people navigate and I think the best one out there is probably meeting with a genetic counselor to kind of talk through your personalized family history, and then see if testing for, you know, certain groups of genes or all the genes for mutations would be something that would be reasonable.

Jessica Walker

And yeah, thank you for sharing that resource. I'm going to get that website from you and link it in the notes for anyone who's interested in pursuing just a more empowered path as far as their gene mutation and, and you're sorry that even I mean, Tommy's calf cancer, his esophagus, but we it was actually something that we have had to bring up a few times saying like, should we do more genetic testing? Should we do more genetic testing because doctors wouldn't mention it. But then we wouldn't actually do the test that happened for like a couple months. And once we actually did it, it did inform several of his treatment choices, what we found in that testing, so it across your soul, right across all cancers, like you can find just information that can lead to new possibilities through this kind of testing. So it's such an important thing to be aware of. And I am interested to know that so like you have I mean, I'm not a parent. And I, but I do know, a lot of people who are listening to this are parents, and it's I can't imagine what it's like to go through a diagnosis and treatment and then survivorship with kids that are at this young age, because I'm sure it's confusing for them, like they don't really know exactly what's going on. And it's probably difficult to explain in a way that they can understand and, and I would just wonder if you could just share a little bit of what you've learned and what your experience was like to help bring your children along on this journey with you.

Lindsay Northrop
Sure, it was challenging. As I mentioned, before, that my sons were five and seven, I was diagnosed in June of 2014. So they were just kind of wrapping up their school years. And I figured, okay, like the summer I'll kind of take it's a good time. You know, my, my parents were available to help with the kids while I recovered from the double mastectomy. But we were just really honest with the kids and really trying to be as open as we could. My older son is more of a warrior. So I was kind of concerned about him. And my, my younger son was kind of quiet and more observant. But my older son, being seven, I was able to really talk to him and explain to him logically what was going to happen. My younger son struggled a bit. He was starting kindergarten, his mom was bald. Just it was it was hard. Sometimes his teachers would, I would go to pick him up, and his teachers would tell me that, that he was, you know, chomping on his shirt out of nerves and, and would say, I'm afraid mom's gonna die. Oh, wow. And that would be that was really hard to do. Here, at the end of the day, I'm sure as you're picking up your son from school, and I would hear him say that a bit to my mom a bit. And I knew he was really, really worried. So he struggled. And it was it was hard on me because I felt very, very guilty, even though I knew logically in my head that it wasn't something I should feel guilty for, and that I had no control over. Of course, yes. But I just felt like oh my gosh, what am I putting my kids through for this. And we used a lot of kids books, to try to explain what was happening to me and why it was happening, you know, kind of why it was happening. And, and they asked a lot of questions. And we, you know, tried age appropriately to answer those questions, not to give them so much information that was going to scare them, but give them enough information so that they knew what was going to happen next and and what was what was kind of expected to or in terms of my recovery and where I would be today if I would be at the hospital or if I would be at home or and I just tried to keep their routine as normal as I could. I was at pickup I was bringing them to hockey practice. Granted, I wasn't doing that if it was a day that I had chemotherapy, but for the most part, I just tried to be there and and keep your life as normal as I as I possibly could. And I understand that that's not the case in in for everybody. But I also did have a lot of support with my parents, they lived down the street and my dad took them all summer and went on different adventures with them. So you know, they would come home and tell me about what they did and what they were doing and how much fun they had. So, so it was um, you know, there were it was very challenging, but there was also a ton of silver linings through how you know, they they got to spend this time with my, my dad my mom actually stayed with me most of the time to help me recover. My mom's a former nurse. And so she was kind of in charge of my care and my dad would take the boys a lot Over the summer and bring them on adventures. And I think it was very helpful to my dad. And also to the boys, they really have this bond now, that is really beautiful. And, you know, so I see that as a big silver lining. But it it's tough to answer some of the questions, you know, it was especially challenging to have to tell them about my recurrence. That was probably one of the hardest days because they had already known and already lived through what had happened the first time. So this is kind of their one of their, you know, my oldest said always said it was one of his biggest fears that it would come back. So to have to share that with them and and help them grieve was was a challenge. In between my two diagnoses. Our niece was diagnosed with leukemia, oh, my goodness, at age four. So when we shared that information, it was heartbreaking to them as well. But when we shared my recurrence, you know, my younger son was like, why does this keep happening to us, and who's next? And, you know, it's hard to kind of have those, those conversations with, you know, the littles and get them to understand, but I feel like the books were really helpful. And one was called mom goes to war. My younger son just would say, Can we read this, and even after I was, you know, recovering, after the recurrence, he would go and read it. And it just provided him with a little comfort. In rereading that story, I also went ahead and made some picture books of kind of happy times of our family. Before I started treatment for my recurrence, just so that the boys had something that they could look at if I was having a bad day and needed to rest and couldn't be there for them. Which wasn't really the case, but I just wanted them to have this, something that positive that they could look at that it could see, okay, they're happy times ahead. You know, and, and we've had happy times, and we're going to have more, we just have to get through this little bump in the road.
So I do think that you know, the more open you can be age appropriate wise with your kids, the better they'll understand. And the more they can you can help them feel less anxious, if that's possible.

Jessica Walker
Thanks for sharing all of that. I think that like so many amazing takeaways for anyone trying to navigate this with children. I I really appreciate that. And, and I'm actually I'm glad that you mentioned that recurrence because that's something that again, for Tommy and I that was that was the hardest day to date was finding out that it came back and I and I don't know if this resonates with you, but it's that the first time is very scary, but but you don't know what to expect. And the second time is also very scary, but you do know what to expect. And somehow it's, you think that could be reassuring, but it's not it's it's it's I it feels exhausting. It's so heavy and, and I it's hard to find the strength and the positivity to go back to go back to war. And what did that mentally look like for you? Like, how did you dig in and, and find that strength and positivity to be able to move forward? or What does positivity look like to you?

Unknown Speaker
Oh, I feel like it will your story absolutely resonates with me. For sure. I it is you think it's going to be one way and it isn't. I, at first, you know, when I was first diagnosed, I was really, okay, we're gonna do this, we're gonna get through it. We're going to, you know, I was just so focused on the physical aspects of it, I'm gonna get through it, we're gonna be done and you're gonna go on with our lives and be fine. Yeah. You know, obviously, there's that fear of recurrence. I feel like any cancer patient has that. You know, you worry about that. It's kind of in the back of your mind. And, you know, I don't think I was unlike anyone else but then when it came back I was really scared. Especially not knowing kind of where I was. Was I stage four? Was it just a local recurrence? Can we treat it? Can we, you know, have a curative treatment or not, was really kind of a lot of questions running around in my mind. And I think positivity is so important in any cancer journey. But I also think that you have to allow yourself time to grieve. Because if you're, if you don't, you're gonna have a hard time with the positivity. And when I went through it the first time, I felt as if, like I said, I was just getting through it physically. And I was going to be done with it. And it was going to be this challenging part of my life, and it would be over. But I struggled, I struggled. Probably about six months or so after I completed treatment, I kind of looked back and was like, Whoa, that actually happened. And I need to, you know, I kind of realized I need to chat with somebody. Because I was just stuck in that. In that, I don't want to say it wasn't a dark place, but it was just, I kind of was rehashing what was happening, and I really couldn't get beyond what I had just gone through. I had called my cancer center and said, Would you be able to set me up with somebody locally? That has cancer experience. And they gave me a couple names of some therapists in my area that had oncology experience. And I went to see one and and he helped me work through all of that. And that was really something that. I really needed at the time, and really helps me kind of stay grounded. And also when I was going through my recurrence, I was seeing him as well. So he kind of helped, you know, kind of keep my thoughts like, Hey, we don't know any grading until we know something. So let's not, you know, create these what if scenarios, let's just, once we have the information, then we can move forward. Mm hmm. And the second time around, I approached my cancer very differently. I decided that I was going totry different things, some complementary therapies, and different things that I felt like was going to help me attack the treatment. Fully mind body, soul, everything. I was doing meditation, I was doing Reiki, I was doing acupuncture, I was doing EFT, which is the emotional, yeah, reflecting the tapping. I have a good friend who does that. And she offered her services to me to help me in my healing, I love tapping, which was wonderful. And it was no great. And I just, it really helped me see, the the positive and the situation and really helped. You know, change my perspective, a bit. And I also I tried to focus on, okay, there's something good in every day, you know, everyday might not be good, but there's definitely something good in every day. So what is the silver lining to this? What is the silver lining to that? How can we see something positive? So, you know, I started, you know, you celebrate the small victories too. You know, I remember celebrating when I had my drains being taken out, you know, like, I'm praying for you today. Or maybe it was, you know, I was able to move a little bit better, I was able to exercise a little more, or, you know, go pick up my kids that I felt like a victory. You know, so just kind of celebrating those small moments, I feel like really helped cultivate that positive feeling. Because you can get bogged down with, with some of the things that you're going through and some of the hard physical portions of treatment.And it's hard sometimes to find those, find those moments. And I remember thinking at various points, you know, I just have to break it down and get through. Maybe it's the next hour or maybe it's just The next minute, maybe, you know, and really break it down into small chunks to get through things, but you will get through them. And that's, I think the big thing, like, you know, everybody's talking about the pandemic, and I feel like cancer patients are really good at
handling something like a pandemic, because we've been through something like this. You know, you have to, you know, it's not what you want to do, but maybe it's what you have to do and things like that. So, so I feel like you know, kind of just keeping an open mind and trying to find the good in age each day, and celebrating those little victories are really, the keys to staying positive.

Jessica Walker

So many great takeaways in that Lindsey, I'm, I'm just like, I could make like 20 things that you just said into quotes that I mean, it's truly like, it's, there's so many angles that you can go about this. And it sounds like you have really explored all of the different ways that you can process and navigate and
decompress, like, because you're now in survivorship. And that's a whole other ballgame like this, you've now experienced her currents. And now, you're a few years out, and I'm what does that been like to Now navigate just, I wouldn't, I don't want to use the term new normal, but like to sit to be like, I am now like, a different person than I was maybe six years ago or seven years ago. What is it like to just like, now walk through your life having been through what you've been through?

Lindsay Northrop
It did make me a different person. I feel like it changed who I was, and, and put me on a different path. I am now I, I dedicate a lot of my time to patient advocacy and helping out within the cancer community. Because I just feel like,
you know, this maybe happened to me for a reason, maybe it is to share my story and help others going through a cancer diagnosis. And it's, it's, you know, the fact of the matter is, I am at higher risk for coming back again.
I try not to dwell on that I try to just keep myself healthy, and make sure I'm staying physically healthy, mentally healthy, and spiritually healthy. I'm much more. I was always a spiritual person before my cancer diagnosis. But I feel like my faith has intensified, I guess, since my treatment. And it's I'm just grateful every day that I have with my children that I get to see them grow. You know, it's hard to see where I was back in 2014, when they were five and seven, and now they're almost 12 and 14. And the think, Oh my gosh, you know, at one point, I wondered what I see them, you know, grow. And, you know, when I when I look back and and see what those fears were. You know, it's it's, it really
gives me a sense of gratitude just for the time that I've had. And although it was a struggle, I do feel really blessed that I'm able to share my story unable to share my tips or, you know, provide support for somebody else going through this.

Jessica Walker
Well, thank you so much, Lindsay, this I mean, this has been an awesome conversation that I know, so much of what you said has resonated with the people who are listening and more than more than one and, and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and your wisdom with us today.

Lindsay Northrop

Thank you so much for having me, Jessica.




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