Local Mother Fights Inspiring Battle with Cancer for the Second Time
She blogs about her experience despite chemo
By Amy Lange | FOX 2 News
(WJBK) – A local wife, mother – and cancer survivor – is fighting her toughest battle yet.
Her message is both inspiring and informative.
Five-year-old Theo never wants to leave his mother’s side. There’s always time for another hug or another kiss.
It’s that kind of time that his mother, 42-year-old Amy Rauch Neilson, is fighting for.
“It terrifies me,” Amy said. “I don’t want him to grow up without a mom.”
“He needs his mom, and I need my wife,” said her husband Don.
For Amy and Don, a fight they thought they had already won has once again reared its ugly head. Amy was first diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2006. It was stage one, a lump the size of a blueberry in her left breast.
But because she’s a carrier of the BRCA1 gene mutation that predisposes her to breast and ovarian cancer, Amy went to the extreme to ensure this cancer would gone for good.
She underwent a double mastectomy with reconstruction. Then later, doctors removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes. This made her sure that she’d be cancer free forever; a wife and mother with a healthy future.
Then, in January of this year, after a day of winter fun with her family, she made a devastating discovery.
“I flopped down on a coach and I pulled a blanket up and I felt this lump,” Amy recalls. “And I put my hand down my shirt and I’m like – what could this possibly be?”
Amy had a biopsy the very next day, which was Monday. By Wednesday Amy knew that it was cancer again.
But this time it was stage four, and it had spread into her chest wall, her lymph nodes and both of her lungs.
“Sometimes I wake up and it still seems surreal to me,” Amy said. “Like is it really possible that I’m waking up into this world where I have stage 4 breast cancer and I really am in treatment for this and my life is really in jeopardy?”
Amy says those thoughts are overwhelming.
Cancer killed Amy’s grandmother and mother.
Her sister Julie is a two-time cancer survivor. Her other sister Lisa is also a carrier of the gene, and she also had a double mastectomy and her ovaries removed as a preventative measure.
Now – they know – it’s no guarantee the cancer won’t come.
Amy’s on a mission to make sure people are aware. She writes a blog called It’s In The Genes, and she has subscribers in all 50 states, as well as 17 countries.
“I want to share this story with as many people as I can reach – to give them hope – to give them inspiration and they give it back to me because I feel connected,” Amy said.
Connected during such an uncertain time. Amy is currently undergoing chemo treatment, and she says nobody really has the answer to when she’ll be done – or if she’ll be done.
The good news is, she’s feeling better and her doctor says cancer treatment is advancing so fast there is hope she can manage this, like hypertension or diabetes – even at stage four.
Amy’s not letting it slow her down one bit. She joined her team, “Amy’s Walking Angels” at last weekend’s Race For The Cure.
She carried little Theo in her arms.
“I believe I’m going to survive – and I tell him that I’m going to be okay – Mommy’s going to be okay.”
After all – there’s so much to live for.
To view the piece that appeared on Fox 2 News last night, go to:
Editor’s Note: A special thank you to Amy Lange, cameraman Larry and their Team at Fox 2 News for sharing a story that I hope will save lives. Amy, you really are an angel.