Life's Victories--Myra Taylor--10-year survivor
Myra Taylor had a very successful career working in the banking industry and her busy schedule caused her to put the scheduling of her annual breast exam aside. In 2004, three years after her last mammogram, Myra had the test done and was diagnosed with stage 3A breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes. "It was my worst fears come true," says Myra. "I was in shock."
Myra got a second opinion, and she strongly recommends that anyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer do the same. "Insurance pays for it, and it's very important to be informed and be your own advocate," she says. "You have to feel confidence in your doctor."
She has become a true advocate for those battling breast cancer working as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society and Adelphi's NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program.
"I had been part of North Shore LIJ and Adelphi's breast cancer support groups when I was going through my battle with cancer. It helps so much to be with others who are experiencing the same thing you are," says Myra. "The biggest fear is being alone, and being part of a group makes you feel so much better."
Myra's volunteer work with the American Cancer Society's Wig Bank has also been very rewarding. "I was quite bald after my treatment. When women come in to get a wig and I tell them I'm still here after 10 years, it gives them hope. They realize they can survive this."
Myra’s journey with breast cancer hasn't been easy, but she does believe that it has changed her in positive ways. "It made me realize that things I used to think were so important really aren't," says the 69-year-old retiree, who chose to retire at 62 instead of working several more years. "After what I had been through," she says, "I realized that every day is precious."