Reeling in a New Life (via Spry)

A breast cancer survivor’s recovery leads her to new friends, new experiences and an unlikely hobby.

- Mark Boughton for SPRY

Meet L’Tanya Bell: youthful 50 year old, fly fisherwoman, and breast cancer survivor.

When she got the phone call from her doctor a few days before Christmas, 2006, she was devastated. “The house fell apart,” she recalls.

I can’t imagine what getting that phone call would be like. Amidst the dailiness of life, it’s easy to forget that everything can change in an instant. “A new reality kicks in,” says Bell.

This summer, I’ve been interviewing breast cancer survivors for two very different magazine stories— stories about what it’s like to dwell in that quiet, deeply personal world of catastrophic illness. You get the feeling that, like veterans of war, cancer sufferers can’t adequately explain what they’ve been through.

But they can open a small window for the rest of us. Talking to these women about their lives and illnesses made me feel as if I’d peeked through some portal to a secret world, a place of bitter experience and the kind of wisdom that only comes hard-earned.

I was grateful for, and humbled by, that glimpse.

Read L’Tanya Bell’s story in Spry Living.

To read “Pink Ribbon Pushback,” stay tuned for the November issue of HER Nashville.

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