TQL Ambassador Inspires Resiliency, Against All Odds
TQL Senior HR Systems Manager Lynn M. says she has always been a fighter.
So when she discovered that she had stage four breast cancer 14 years ago, it’s not surprising that she took the challenge head-on.
“I’m an independent person and I’ve always had this fighter, ‘whatever I’ve got to do, I’ll do’ attitude,” she said. “And I decided to focus on living versus dying.”
Lynn says that even though she was frightened, she was determined to push through it.
“I remember my husband saying ‘you don’t cry – aren’t you scared?’ I said ‘yes, I’m scared, but this is not a death sentence.’”
She took that strong-minded attitude and applied it to each step of her treatment and recovery process.
“I told my oncologist: I want you to keep me up on my feet, I want everything to be as normal as it can be, and I want to work – do not take me off work – and so, she did all of those things.”
Lynn underwent chemotherapy and had a mastectomy. She says her decision to have immediate breast reconstructive surgery stemmed from her love for her two teenaged sons.
“I wanted things to be as normal as possible for them. So I wanted to have the reconstructive surgery at the same time so that they would know or see no difference, other than I may be sick or feeling bad.”
Although her doctors did not agree at first, Lynn remained steadfast. “You have to really push with making some decisions. You can’t control what’s in your body or what’s happening, but you can control your treatment.”
Lynn says she is honored to be named a TQL Pinktober Ambassador.
“I think it’s awesome that TQL is so caring and so generous,” she said. “TQL is just a compassionate company anyway, but the fact that we have close to 4,000 employees here and there’s probably a number of people who have cancer or have a mother, grandmother or have known a friend who has, it shows the support that this company has for the community and makes people go ‘oh, my employer is going to take care of me even if I have cancer and they’re going to work with me’ – and that has been TQL.”
Corey D., corporate giving specialist who leads the TQL Cares program, says naming ambassadors allows TQL the opportunity to support, as well as remember, the courageous fighters on the team. “The TQL family has unfortunately lost some of our own to the fight against cancer, and breast cancer specifically. It is so important that we remember those we have lost and celebrate those who are fighting.”
Although Lynn is now cancer-free, she says her fight made her more empathetic. “I realized that sometimes even the smallest things – or things that you can’t see, like mental illness – that people go through can cause them immense pain,” she said. “[My experience] has given me more compassion because you can’t always see that medical condition or that illness that somebody might have.”