Bacon is better | People
There are few words in life that can leave you breathless. Most of the time we hear about people being left breathless the first time someone says “I love you” to them. Unfortunately for thousands of people each year, the word that leaves them breathless is cancer.
“I went in for a mammogram and they said 'oh we see something here',” said Terry Bacon. “When my doctor called to tell me... complete shock. I couldn't move. Nothing existed anymore but that word cancer. It's overwhelming. You forget to breathe and you don't know how to deal with it.”
The 68-year old Spokane great-grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2012. In the following months she underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment.
“I didn't have to go through the chemo. I can't imagine what it's like to go through chemo,” said Terry.
The cancer is now gone, but Terry is still healing and she knows her life changed instantly and forever when her doctor said that word, cancer.
“It changed my life. It changed my family's life. You can't change it back,” said Terry.
As with any struggle, it's always better to have support. In the darkest hours of the battle with cancer, Terry leaned on her family.
“You can't do it alone. My family has been absolutely wonderful.”
She takes great joy in her family.
“I have 5 kids and umpteen grand-kids and even great-grand-kids,”
“She's such an inspiration to us and to so many people,” said Terry's daughter Jennifer Achziger. “When we were growing up she was the neighborhood mom. She was nicknamed 'The Bacon Lady'.”
For right now, the urgent battle with cancer is over for Terry but the war rages on.
"Is it going to come back? Because it can. Even though I'm taking the medication, there is no guarantee," said Terry. “It's important. We need the money and research to beat cancer.”
Her daughter formed team “Bacon is Better” to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for The Cure. The Komen foundation raises money to help fund research that may some day find a cure for breast cancer.
“My daughter, Jennifer, does a lot of runs and has done this for years. And then when 'mom' got cancer it really brought it home,” said Terry. “She called the other day and said 'hey mom, you've got 20 people on your team,”
Terry was overwhelmed that so many people would join a team to support her.
“I don't even know these people. I just started crying.”
The team's name is a play on the family name and the fact that Terry is better than she was nearly a year ago when her doctor first uttered that word, cancer. It's also plays on America's love for the breakfast meat, and Terry's positive outlook on life.
“It's not going to beat me. I'm too strong for that. It was overwhelming but it's not going to get me,” said Terry.
The team will wear gray shirts that say, 'Bacon is Better' and feature strips of bacon in the shape of a heart.
“Mine says, 'I'm Bacon,” said Terry. “It's pink.”
Not all of team Bacon is Better will be able to run through the streets of Spokane Sunday morning but Terry knows they are with her in spirit, encouraging her in her new life as a cancer survivor.
“It took me a long time to be able to say I have cancer. Even now it's hard to say 'I'm a survivor.'”