Making the moments count

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Featured

Published on March 20, 2012 with No Comments

Life is a series of ups and downs, peaks and valleys. Often, it’s not always about the outcome, but rather how one perseveres through the struggles, the trials, and the tribulations that ultimately determine the strength and character of an individual.

Having the mental fortitude to remain steady and weather any storms that may come:  Lisa Davenport is a testament to this. In the midst of her second bout with breast cancer, the single mother has always kept her mentality positive and her focus on her son.

Davenport’s first breast cancer diagnosis was in 2009. What originally started with a trip to the doctor for bronchitis eventually turned into a mammogram which showed some “irregular areas.” After a series of tests, biopsy and more tests, it was determined that she had cancer. The news was a surprise.  And while alarmed and troubled, Davenport never became discouraged.

“A lot of people around me were upset but I didn’t look at it like a death sentence. I knew I had options,” said Davenport. “My son was 11 or 12 years old at the time and I knew I had to fight to show him that life always throws curve balls at you and I had to swing. I hit a home run, recovered and went back to life.”

Following her decision to have a double mastectomy, a surgical procedure in which tissue is removed from the body, Davenport went back to her life, healthy and symptom-free. Things went back to normal for Davenport and her teenage son, Spencer. Following a relocation to Portage where Davenport began work as director of nursing for Rittenhouse Senior Living’s Portage location, life continued on as it always had.

Fast forward to February 2012. Davenport was attending a friend’s Super Bowl party when she began experiencing severe abdominal pain. No stranger to pain, Davenport spent the evening dealing with the excruciating pain in her abdomen and chest, so much so she even had trouble breathing. She assumed it was something she had eaten at the party, possibly a strain from a new exercise regimen she started.

In the morning, her brother took her to the hospital where blood tests were done, X-rays were taken and CAT scans were performed. After all the testing was done, the results confirmed and re-confirmed that Davenport had a large mass growing behind her left breast, another on her liver and other masses developing on both sides of her lungs.

Davenport contacted her oncologist, Dr. Mohammed Farhat, who conducted additional testing before concluding that the cancer had returned.  This time, it was stage-four breast cancer.

“I felt like I was driving through life and someone pulled the emergency brake and didn’t tell me,” said Davenport. “My main function in life is raising and supporting my son. He’s such a good young man that I want him to see that I’m as strong as I can be. I’m no quitter and I will keep fighting to the end because it’s not about me winning or losing, but it’s about taking what life gives you head on.”

Having a positive attitude, strong demeanor and confidence in the face of an adversity isn’t enough to successfully combat a disease like cancer. As anyone who has been affected by cancer knows, the medical bills alone can be daunting, and the medical procedures difficult.  And while she is receiving treatments, Davenport is off work.

To help her with the ever-increasing insurance premiums and to assist with the cost of living, friends and co-workers have organized a fundraising event and program.  A spaghetti benefit for Davenport is being held at Rittenhouse Senior Living’s Portage location, 6235 Sterling Creek Road in Portage, from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.  The cost is $10 per person.  A bake sale and silent auction will also be featured.

 Also during the month of March, Sassy Nails, located at 6636 U.S. Highway 6 in Portage, is donating a percentage of its sales to Davenport. Sassy Nails is asking customers to present the promotional flier for the donation to be made.

Selfless and strong, Davenport’s optimistic about the future and is determined keep her head up and continue to move forward with her and Spencer’s life. She also wants to her story, her life to be a source of inspiration for others in her life and in her community.

“I want another woman, another family, another teenage kid to stand up and take charge of her life. I want another woman to stop putting off getting tested, whether it’s breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease or whatever it is,” said Davenport. “I talk to so many women and ask them about the last time they had a mammogram and so many people haven’t had them done and that’s sad because they can be walking around with something and not know it.”

For additional information about the fundraising event, contact Rittenhouse Senior Living at 219-764-2900 or visit www.rittenhousesl.com. For information about the Sassy Nails donation promotion, call 219-734-6690.

For more information about testing for cancer, dealing with cancer and other general information about this disease, visit www.cancer.org.

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