DARLINGTON – Lafayette County’s Relay for Life will take place on June 19 at Collins Park in Darlington. The 2021 American Cancer Society Lafayette County Relay for Life honorary co-chairs Becky Hardyman and Lindsay Nyffenegger
Becky Hardyman went in for her yearly check up in September of 2017. That’s when they found a lump.
She was scheduled for a mammogram on October 5 and got her diagnoses back on October 11.
“I was scared to get a phone call like that. When you are told you have cancer, it is almost like you have been given a death sentence,” Hardyman remembers. “I was worried.”
She was diagnosed with positive invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer.
Her family was surprised and worried for her but her husband Rick of 40 years, and children Matt, Briana (Adam) and Whitney (Jason) along with her grandson Jack, continue to stand by her side.
Hardyman began her chemotherapy treatments and had a lumpectomy to remove affected lymph nodes. She started radiation on June 25, 2018 and then continued with low dose chemotherapy until Oct. 31, 2018
She did 33 treatments of radiation in Madison at Turville Bay MRI & Radiation Oncology Center and six treatments of chemotherapy in Dodgeville.
Currently she is taking immunotherapy medication and will continue a yearly check up.
“This year marks four years: four years as a cancer survivor,” Hardyman said. After five years, she is considered cancer free.
Right now she feels pretty good with limited side effects from the chemotherapy.
“Compared to what I felt like through it, I feel pretty good,” she said.
She tries to do healthier things and exercises often.
Hardyman is excited to be an honorary co-chair for Relay for Life.
“I am honored. I have participated in it for many years on behalf of other family members and friends. I never thought I’d be the one up front telling my story.”
She has always stood by a quote, “You don’t know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have.”
“I try to tell people to remain positive no matter what.”
Lindsey Nyffenegger has had a tough start to 2021 but things are looking up and that is something to be positive about.
Nyffenegger was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in July 2019.
“I was confused at the time,” Nyffenegger says about hearing the news. “I cried a lot and didn’t know what to think or know what it meant or how severe it was.”
She went for a check up with the doctor after feeling a growth. She had a mammogram right away and then had a biopsy when the doctor told her the news.
“My family was very scared as well,” Nyffenegger remembered, speaking about her husband Ed and children Emmalyn and Tommy.
She began 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 16 rounds of radiation. She also had her right breast removed. She was told that even though it was stage three cancer it wasn’t going to be something she would have to live with forever and she would get over it.
“It made me feel a lot better knowing it could be treated.”
Her last radiation was in May 2020 and her last chemotherapy took place in December 2020.
After continued doctors appointments, Nyffenegger found out this past March that her cancer had returned and metastasized to her lung, ovaries, spine, and pelvis.
“There is a lot more uncertainty this time and we were a lot more scared, not knowing how long treatment will be,” Nyffenegger said.
As of a few weeks ago, scans done showed that things are looking good.
“I feel okay now,” Nyffenegger said who is continuing immunotherapy treatments every Friday. Treatments are scheduled to last until August depending on how the tumors are doing. This Friday she will be having her 8th round of treatment.
“Everything is working,” she says.
She was so honored and grateful to be chosen as a co-chair for the 2021 Relay for Life. She understands the huge honor it is and feels it is pretty awesome to be chosen.
“I was definitely caught off guard. I think I cried. I was very shocked.”
She is also super grateful for the support from not only the community but also the support from her amazing family and the support they have been given as well.