Personal Story: Linda Landowski - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Personal Story: Linda Landowski

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I first met my biological mother as she lay dying the hospital from breast cancer. She was only 46-years-old. I was 19-years-old and pregnant at the time but I didn't tell her that she would be a grandmother. She never shared if I had a dad or family.

Jump to 2010, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. My dear husband says he saw my mom's dying look in my own face. It felt like I was tortured and left to die.

Life is not easy and there are permanent side effects. But my husband and I still have life; it's just a different way of living. We are lucky to have each other.

During the long journey of endless appointments, my oldest daughter Kristin took me to every appointment. She tried to make each one fun with treats, gifts or food. Unfortunately, most food hurt, burned or tasted bad. She'd try to get me something - greeting cards, little gifts, remedies or treats that may taste good. Since I'm a huge Dodge car lover, she'd drive me past the new Dodge Challengers after the hours of chemo treatments. I dreamed I would own one if I lived. She would also make sure to get a 49-cent ice cream cone. It burned going down and tasted like dirt but she always said she needed one and I had to have one too. She'd go to the ends of the earth trying to find me comfort.

My youngest daughter Sherri and my grandchildren were also major parts of my healing. They were the reasons for me to live and make memories. I wanted those children to know me. Who else will teach them about Mopars being the best cars in the world?! Michael was 5, Lucas was 2 and Lilly was 1. Now added to the grandchildren, Sherri and Timmy's 4th baby, a girl, Eva Lynn on 7/9/12. I know I'm alive for a reason!

It tore my dear husband's heart out to see me so drained from the chemo and treatments, just like all of the others we saw at The Cancer Center. Since he lost his job, he said his job was talking care of me. So he got this grand idea to create this huge art pottery in honor of those fighting cancer. He created two pieces. One, the bottom, symbolizing how we are hurting and sore with cancer and so weak and all of the emotions. Then he decided to create the top that fits only one way, symbolizing a positive outlook. It was his "rebirth" vision. It's amazing! He even took first place in an art show with the sculpture. During the critique people were weeping in the audience. While it was there all guests had the opportunity to vote for their favorite art out of hundreds of pieces. Rebirth was voted Best of Show! People that didn't know us came up and told us how people were moved and how others they observed were so touched. Everyone is touched by cancer it seems. We were told over and over this pottery is so meaningful and brings hope and inspiration. I look at it and am so amazed of all the months of dedication Gary spent with it. How I hope to live to see the day for cancer prevention, quality of life after cancer without recurrence and finally a cancer cure. This beautiful 4' tall and 103 lb piece is in loving honor and in memory of all cancer fighters that were affected by cancer.

One good thing is that even with nasty chemo brain I've learned tricks to help others relieve some of the discomfort and share compassion, love, care, understanding and encouragement. I'm honored to have been able to been in both Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events so far. The first time was just days after my big surgery! It's hard for me to walk but I'm there. We're trying to find a way to get Team Angellinda going up again. My passion is seeing cancer being a word of the past and for me finding any healing and health!

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