My name is Linda Fleischman.
On April 4th, 2011 I was diagnosed with invasive carcinoma of the left breast, estrogen receptor positive, stage II-A carcinoma. I was 61 years old. I had gone to my annual bilateral mammogram, which I had done religiously every year since I was 40 years old. I couldn’t believe that they found an abnormal lump. I immediately turned to my medical practitioners for guidance. I had several needle biopsies because the first one had no findings. However, they were sure from the X-rays the shape of the lump looked suspicious. Because the lump was 3.6 cm my medical practitioners scheduled me immediately. I received 5 rounds of pre-operative chemotherapy for 4 months, followed by a left breast lumpectomy, followed by 33 days of left breast irradiation.
My team of medical practitioners significantly empowered me through the treatment and recovery process. I knew I needed to have faith and confidence in them and surrendered my body to their best medical practices. The most significant empowerment, however, came from my domestic life partner, Robert, who was by my side for every round of chemotherapy, surgery and initial appointment for radiation therapy with his love and support.
My colleagues at work were very supportive and my supervisor was thoughtful in lightening my caseload as a mental health & family counselor. My spiritual empowerment was derived from attending Kirtan Chant Retreats at Omega Institute, Blue Retreat in Costa Rica with Krishna Das, and local gatherings for meditation and Hindu Satsang chanting. I received a powerful experience with a healer who uses Sounds of Healing at Omega Institute. I loved listening to my neighbor practice violin while I rested and snoozed on my couch. I value my posture of maintaining a positive, going-forward attitude, denying any negative thoughts in my consciousness.
I am a survivor today and regularly visit my oncologist. I’m also undergoing a 10-year hormonal therapy with Tamoxifen. This is recommended to lower the risk of reoccurrence of estrogenic breast cancer. I retired from my profession as a licensed counselor of mental health, marriage & family, and substance abuse. I am presently active in my career as a fine artist exhibiting plein air oil paintings and bronze figurative sculptures. I continue pursuing my artistic expression in my retirement years fulltime.
I am most grateful to all the people in my life and my own courageous willingness to charge through the challenge and be the warrior I am.
I will dedicate a percentage of my painting & sculpture sales to Susan G Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. You can visit my site at www.lindafleischman.com .
Profession: Fine Artist
Type of Breast Cancer: ER positive, stage II
Year of Diagnosis: 2011
Involvement with Komen: Annual Luncheon Vendor, Warrior