A Cancer Journey Filled with Support
- Fox anchor Lindy Thackston, 40, was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer in May 2020 and the cancer spread to one of her lungs this past September.
- Most recently, she shared that she’s waiting on blood test results that will reveal if her cancer is still present and whether or not she’ll need more treatment after recently having a part of her left lung removed. She’s also seeking a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic’s Florida location.
- Colorectal cancer screenings have made a big difference in colorectal cancer prevention. But with colorectal cancer cases in younger people such as Thackston on the rise, the recommended age for beginning screening has been moved from 50 to 45.
Thackston shared two new developments just before Thanksgiving: She’s seeking a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, and she’s awaiting the results of a blood test to see if cancer is still circulating in her body.Read More
“Unfortunately my biopsy came back with the news the colorectal cancer has metastasized to my left lung,” she wrote. “I am now technically stage four, but the good news is, my oncologists say it’s curable.”
And through it all, Thackston has been very vulnerable with her followers and viewers. In her most recent update, she shared the next crucial steps in her cancer journey.
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“Looking forward to meeting with @mayoclinic today to see what their oncology team has to offer,” Thackston wrote in an Instagram caption. “I’m waiting on a blood test to see if cancer is still in the body and if yes, I’ll need treatment again. IU Health tells me it’s an 80% chance I do and St V says 50/50.”
But even with the weight of a crucial upcoming test result lingering, Thackston is still focusing on the positive. Her post includes a picture of her and her husband enjoying some time by the beach in the Jacksonville, Florida, area.
“💙 Been fun to come back to where I lived 2005-2009 and show Chris around,” she wrote. “I worked at @firstcoastnews.”
Her followers responded to the news with overwhelming support – something that Thackston has previously shared means a lot to her.
“Sending you my love, a huge hug, and a middle finger to the cancer stuff. ✨💯💙. Always here for you, always see you doing the damn thing. 💗,” @barefootprofessional commented.
Another follower, @mlclev2005, said “enjoy the beautiful sunshine and I will be praying for you and your family.”
Understanding Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Like any cancer, colorectal cancer presents its own unique challenges for patients on the road to recovery. But Dr. Heather Yeo, a surgical oncologist and colorectal surgeon at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, wants to remind people how far the treatment of this disease has come.
“One of the most exciting things about my job is that we’ve made a lot of progress on treatment options,” Dr. Yeo said in a previous interview with SurvivorNet. “However, patients are still — while they’re living longer, they are still living with colon cancer, and so I think it’s really important that we talk about how some of the things in your life affect you.”
Dr. Yeo also wants people to know how important colorectal screenings can be. In fact, she says most colorectal cancers can be prevented early with screening.
“In the United States, on a national level, colorectal cancer has been decreasing for the last 20 years,” Dr. Yeo explains. “And much of that is thought to be directly due to screening for colon cancer.”
Even still, colorectal cancer cases are rising among younger people like Thackston. Because of this increase, the United States Preventive Services Task Force has recently updated its colorectal cancer screening recommendations to begin at age 45 as opposed to 50.
Creating Community during a Cancer Journey
During a cancer battle, it’s important to know that you are not alone. There’s a community out there for you to be vulnerable with, if you’d like, and it’s worth it to at least try to connect with some people as you battle the disease. Thackston has been very up front with how much the community she’s built has uplifted her and pushed her through her cancer journey.
But Thackston is definitely not the only one to build a support system in this way. Kate Hervey is another cancer warrior who has touched many people by sharing her story. A young college girl, she was shocked to be diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that tends to form near large joints in young adults, after seeing her doctor for tenderness and lumps in one of her legs.
Hervey, a nursing student at Michigan State, had to handle her cancer battle during the COVID-19 pandemic and scale back on her social activities as a high-risk patient. That’s when she turned to TikTok as a creative outlet, and inspired thousands.
“One thing that was nice about TikTok that I loved and why I started posting more and more videos is how many people I was able to meet through TikTok and social media that are going through the same things,” she says. “I still text with this one girl who is 22. If I’m having a hard time, I will text her because she will understand. As much as my family and friends are supportive, it’s hard to vent to someone who doesn’t know what it’s really like.”
Hervey is now cancer-free, and says she couldn’t have done it without the love and support of her TikTok followers.
“I feel like I’ve made an impact on other people and they have made an impact on me through TikTok, which is crazy to say. I can help people go through what I’ve been going through as well.” She has graciously agreed to allow SurvivorNet to use her content in order to help our community.
So while sharing your story for thousands of TikTok users might not be your thing, it’s important to consider opening up to others about your struggles during a cancer battle. Even if it’s with a smaller group, you never know how much the support can help you – or help those you share with – unless you try.