LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Five years ago, we introduced you to a Holden, Missouri, woman who won a big court judgment over the late diagnosis of her breast cancer. Linda Reynolds considered herself neither a victor nor a victim. She was a fighter. Now, Linda has to fight again.
The cancer that she had feared would come back has recurred. It's in her spine.
"Hurt, frustration, but determined," said Linda.
It's been almost nine years since Linda was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. She says a year earlier, she and her doctor had felt a lump so Linda had a mammogram. Somehow, it was considered a routine screening, not a diagnostic mammogram even though Linda said she'd marked a form with the location of her lump. But no lump was seen on the mammogram. She was told everything was okay. She later sued the doctor claiming there wasn't follow-up. She also sued the radiologic tech for not obtaining information about the lump. In 2008, a Jackson County jury awarded Linda 4.5 million dollars. She received just over a million dollars because of malpractice caps and because of a settlement with the doctor before trial in which the doctor denied fault.
Linda says she'd give up the money in an instant not to have to deal with advanced cancer.
"In a heartbeat. I've got a teenaged girl and a boy at home and my husband, but they need me around," said Linda.
Her specialist at the K.U. Cancer Center in Lee's Summit says the cancer is not curable. But Dr. Manana Elia is hopeful Linda can live with it a long time.
"Because cancer took so long to come back means she really responded to all the treatments she was given. So I have hope that she will continue to respond to anti-estrogen therapy for some time," said Dr. Elia.
There are also infusions to strengthen bone. Linda has already had high-dose radiation.
"There's a lot of pain with the radiation," Linda told Dr. Elia.
But Linda won't stop fighting. Nor will she stop spreading her message to others.
"Even if they tell you nothing's wrong, go for a second opinion. Don't just be satisfied with that. Your gut feeling is what you need to go on," said Linda.