Getting Back to Normal After Cancer
- Tuesday marked a major milestone for Lindy Thackston: it was her one-year anniversary of finishing chemotherapy and ringing the cancer bell.
- Lindy, 41, a beloved television news anchor in Indianapolis, was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer in May 2020. In the spring of 2021, she finally finished all 10 rounds of chemotherapy to fight off her cancer.
- Cancer takes an immense toll on the person diagnosed with the disease, as well as the people in their support system. While Lindy has been cancer-free for a bit now, the battle scars cancer has left don’t really ever go away — physically and emotionally.
- Getting back to “normal” is a journey, not really a destination; it’s more about finding your “new normal” after cancer.
“4 surgeries. 15 rounds of chemo pills and radiation. 10 rounds of IV chemo. 24-day hospital stay. Countless ER visits. More pain than I can put into words, but also more joy. Time to heal now!” Thackston, an Indianapolis-based television news anchor and colon cancer survivor, posted to Twitter on April 12, 2021.Read More
— Lindy Thackston (@lindythackston) April 12, 2022
Lindy Thackston’s Cancer Battle
Lindy Thackston, 41, a beloved television news anchor for FOX59 News in Indianapolis, was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer in May 2020. In the spring of 2021, she finally finished all 10 rounds of chemotherapy to fight off her cancer.
But in September of that year, she shared that doctors found a spot on her lung during an unrelated hospital visit. She told her thousands of Instagram followers that the lung spot prompted a biopsy, which revealed the cancer had spread to her lung — her cancer had reached stage 4.
In an episode of her podcast, Life With Lindy, posted that same month, she further explained that her doctors think the spot on her lung had been there from the very beginning (when she was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer).
Thackston disclosed to SurvivorNet that this discovery also meant she was actually stage 4 when she was diagnosed in May 2020, considering the cancer had spread beyond its origin organ. The spot was small; it never changed or did anything the entire time she battled colorectal cancer, she said.
“That’s actually good news because it means a new spot didn’t pop up,” she told SurvivorNet.
Dr. Heather Yeo, a surgical oncologist and colorectal surgeon at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, previously told SurvivorNet that when colon cancer spreads outside the colon, “most commonly spreads to the lung and to the liver.” In Thackston’s case, it had spread to her lung.
Thackston ended up having a lobectomy procedure (surgery where an entire lobe of the lung is removed) to remove half of her left lung.
“Then the question was, ‘OK, do I do a round of chemo after that, or not?’” Thackston said.
Thackston consulted with her oncologist at St. Vincent Hospital (in Indianapolis) about what her next steps should be — chemotherapy, or not. She also sought second opinions on what to do at Indiana University Health and the Mayo Clinic.
“I had IU and Mayo (Clinic) telling me that they would not do chemo and that they would just continue to constantly monitor me,” Thackston told SurvivorNet. “My oncologist, who I’ve been going to for the whole time, was leaning toward chemo. And I obviously didn’t want to do it. … We ultimately decided not to do it.”
To monitor her cancer remission, Thackston has been taking two Signatera blood tests, which is a test that can detect if cancer is still present in patients who have previously been diagnosed with cancer. The tests she’s taken so far have been negative, so she’ll take another Signatera test this month, as well as begin getting PET scans every three months to monitor her remission progress.
From everyone here at SurvivorNet, congratulations, Lindy!
Getting Back to Normal After Cancer
Cancer takes an immense toll on the person diagnosed with the disease, as well as the people in their support system. While Lindy Thackston has been cancer-free for a bit now, the battle scars cancer has left don’t really ever go away — physically and emotionally.
Getting back to “normal” is a journey, not really a destination; it’s more about finding your “new normal” after cancer.
One thing we know for certain is that things are going to change after you’ve had cancer — that’s part of the process. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
After CC Webster was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at 29 years old, she was struck by the overwhelming anxiety she started to feel.
“In life after cancer, I experienced an entirely new level of anxiety that I didn’t know existed,” Webster previously told SurvivorNet. “Earth-shattering anxiety that makes you sweat, and makes your heart race. I had to learn how to manage myself in that, and how to allow myself to process the trauma that I had just been through.”
Webster said what finally got her back on her feet was facing her anxiety head-on. Eventually, she was able to walk away from her cancer journey with a new outlook on life.