The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

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October 17, 2009

Cancer diagnosis didn’t end life for Lowe

For Robyn Lowe, cancer is not a death sentence.

After being told she had metastatic breast cancer in 2004, Lowe has embarked on a mission to spread aw-areness ab-out the disease and to increase ef-forts to support effective preventative measures and treatments.

In the process, she also hopes to show that it is possible to live a full and happy life with cancer – for the millions of men and women like her with Stage IV cancer, life doesn’t have to end with a diagnosis.

The news that she had cancer arrived unexpectedly 25 years ago as she performed a routine self breast exam. With no family history of breast cancer and at a young age, Lowe seemed an unlikely target.

“I guess my reaction was, ‘Uh-oh, that’s not supposed to be there,’” Lowe said. “Within a week I had had it surgically removed and within 48 hours we knew it was cancer. It was very unexpected. I was young – it was not something you anticipate at 32 (years old).”

Lowe immediately began treatments of chemotherapy and a drug called Tamoxifin to eradicate her body of the cancer, but within 10 years, the illness had returned.

After experiencing pain in her lungs, she decided to go to the doctor. Both thought the pain could just be a result of lung damage from the chemotherapy.

The end result, however, was much worse than a minor case of asthma – Lowe’s breast cancer had spread.

“They said, ‘We’re pretty sure you have some type of cancer in your lungs but we won’t know its breast cancer until we do a biopsy of it.’ And that’s not really a fun thing,” Lowe said. “I was fairly certain it was breast cancer and that’s what it showed. The breast cancer had metastasized and was in the lining of the lungs.

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