GSO Woman Uses Cancer As Inspiration, Not Limitation

7:34 AM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- If you or someone you know has battled cancer, you know all too well, its life changing.

Bouncing back after you get that "all clear" from your doctor can be a struggle too.  But Lauren Melvin met a woman who wanted to share her story to inspire others.

At 68 years old, Jan Phillips has already fought cancer and won.

Phillips said she never felt anything, and there was no reason for her to even think she had cancer.

"It was just a routine mammogram, and then, they actually diagnosed it as malignant," she said.

In 2009, Phillips was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Phillips had surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

"There were times of course, that I really was scared. I think it was after my first chemo treatment, I had a panic attack. It wasn't anything with the drug, it was just, I was scared," she said.

After nine months of treatment, her doctors told her the cancer was gone.  But Phillips realized that being healthy was more than being cancer free.

"The first one or two mammograms, I thought, 'this is great, I'm going to reward myself. I got an all-clear mammogram, I'm going to reward myself by going out and buying a bunch of clothes or I'm going to go and buy some new perfume', things like that," she said.  "But when I got the third all-clear, I thought, 'I got to do something more than that'."

Rather than a limitation, cancer became her inspiration.  After beating the odds once, she owed it to herself to get fit.

With the help of P.J. Woods at Black Dog Athletics, Phillips has already lost 15 pounds, but working out has become more than that.

"It's something about yourself, you feel so much better," she said. "I might not look like Jane Fonda, but at least I feel a lot more fit and a lot more healthy."

For the past year, Phillips has worked out three days a week.  She said she feels more in control of her body.  And she shared a message for other women.

"I would encourage women who maybe just found out, or maybe they're going through the treatment now, or maybe they'll get the news one day in their lives - to just know, there's something on the other side."

Phillips still sees her oncologist twice a year now and of course, she keeps up with her regular mammograms.

WFMY News 2

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