Cancer does not discriminate. The disease never considers age, gender, physical health or social status before choosing its next target.

But, sometimes, and at a growing rate, there is life after cancer.

The American Cancer Society reports more than 1.5 million new cancer cases are diagnosed each year. Cancer can be found in all people of all racial and ethnic groups, but the rate of cancer occurrence varies from group to group. More than 15 million people in the U.S. have had some type of cancer in their lifetime.


Oncology nurse Susan Sayles stated she sees a mixed group of people undergoing cancer treatment on a daily basis. Sayles serves as the manager of the Baylor Scott and White Virginia Cvetko Patient Resource Center in Dallas.

“We see all ages. The one thing that is common with breast cancer is that it is [alomst] all women and the other thing that is really common is that it is one and eight,” Sayles said. “Younger patients are rarer. Aggressive cancer might hit a younger person than someone over 60.”

Sayles stated support plays a vital role in the recovery process of a patient.

“We have two support groups for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer who can speak to others who have had a similar experience,” Sayles said. “Those groups allow you to speak to others to talk to you about your experience and let your feelings out. It is a little easier to talk to someone across the aisle who says ‘I’ve been there too.’”


At 32 years old, Laurie Mosley had her life change within a matter of seconds after one phone call — she had breast cancer. She had found a lump during a self-exam at home.

That news 11 years ago was shocking but didn’t alter Mosley’s positive outlook on life that continued to shine during treatment.

Mosley, who is the current director of the Waxahachie Convention and Visitors Bureau, viewed cancer more as an inconvenience that stole time from precious moments, and not something that could end up taking her life.

“I never once thought that I was going to die. That was never the thought. I thought that I don’t have time for this because I have a busy schedule,” Mosley said. “That is when you quickly learn we're not in control of anything. It was just a big lesson of letting go of control and having faith like no other.”

The type of breast cancer Mosley had was HER2-positive.

The Mayo Clinic states this type of cancer tests positive for a protein called the human epidermal growth factor receptor two, which promotes the growth of cancer cells. About one-in-every-five breast cancers have a gene mutation that makes an excess of this protein.

“My tumor was coded in these proteins that we knew would not react to regular chemotherapy or radiation,” Mosley said. “But praise the Lord there had been a new drug that had been only on the market for a short amount of time called Herceptin. It was a biotherapy that they were having positive pathological experiences with.”

Mosley's treatment involved chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and later had breast reconstruction surgery.

She credits her faith, her husband, Donny Mosley, and the support from the community for giving her the strength to keep moving forward.

“The one thing about being in this community is that people would reach out to others across the world. I had people praying for me from all around the world. That was the greatest feeling and an important part of that recipe,” Mosley said. “I never asked why me? I was like, 'Lord, I have got something to learn here, so let's go.' I just knew that there was a lesson to be learned in it and so instead of looking at it as such a bad thing. I just looked at it as a new opportunity to learn something.”

Former chamber of commerce president Debra Wakeland stated Mosley's spirit as she went through treatment was inspirational.

"She was just strong when she got the worst news of her life. She set out right then to beat it. She was so my hero and still is,” Wakeland said. "When she lost her hair she said 'screw it. I am not wearing a wing. If anyone has a problem with it, they can have a problem with it.' She was just super strong."

Mosley stated life does not stop just because a person is diagnosed with cancer. It continues with some slight adjustments.

“There is no other reason that I could have got through had it not been for prayers and knowing that Lord was guiding every step,” Mosley said.