Q&A with Linda Fryoux Harvison
Linda Fryoux Harvison, 64. St. Joseph's Academy principal. Married, 2 sons.
How did you find out you had breast cancer?
I found the lump doing a routine self-exam … When the doctor did the biopsy, I learned I had a tumor in each breast.
What was your reaction?
Once the surgeon called, I took the time to let it sink in, called my family and knew that I just had to move forward and get this taken care of.
What treatment methods did you undergo?
Mammogram, sonogram, breast biopsy and surgery. I will do chemo and radiation and take the hormone pill.
How has your illness affected your perspective on life?
I feel I have always been a positive person, and this has made me realize how important it is to stay positive … At school, we often start prayer with the words “Good and Gracious God,” and I believe that is what our God is. This is a challenge placed in my life, but my daily readings keep me understanding that I am cared for and not alone. God speaks to us through others, and I have many people, including 1,018 girls, supporting me, praying for me and being with me on this journey. My journey cannot be private. In my position, I am a very public figure. I can only hope that my journey is a story that my girls will not forget, and that their mothers and grandmothers will take the time for self-exam or mammograms.
Do you have any advice for others with breast cancer?
Take action: self-exams and mammograms. Don’t question the need. The minute you think it, do it. Stay positive and surround yourself with positive people. Build yourself a support base of those who will help you stay active and address the issues. Find doctors you trust and who will spend time with you. Work with your family or support system to make decisions, but remember the ultimate decision is yours. Take time for yourself. Rest. It is OK to be “all about you.” Enjoy a not-so-clean house, read a good book, pray and reflect. Find your God in your life.