As far as having cancer goes, Linda Painter said she couldn't have been more fortunate

As far as having cancer goes, Linda Painter said she couldn't have been more fortunate.

In 1995, through a regular mammogram, she said the attending radiologist was able to spot the issue at its start.

“It was not a typical situation,” she said. “You just don't catch it sooner or smaller than that.”

Painter went on to say her lumpectomy results were fine — nothing else was affected.

She said having to be in the radiation room all by herself was a cause for some tears, but ultimately she wasn't frightened.

Painter said she sailed through her roughly eight months of radiation, which she would fit into her lunch breaks.

She is thankful she did not have to go through chemotherapy or take other medications.

Except for one incident, treatment went pretty well for Painter.

She said in the summer she became blistered once after radiation, so her treatments had to stop for awhile to give her skin time to heal.

“Generally, at the worst I would feel tired, but not sleepy,” she said. “I had no energy, but that's all.”

Though the treatment did not noticeably weaken Painter at the time, she does acknowledge that there has been some decline in her health that began from that point.

“It's important to take care of yourself while you're going through treatment,” she said. “I didn't know to make an extra effort to eat well and exercise.”

Painter is celebrating her 69th birthday this month.