American Cancer Society Destiny Ball honoree named

Mrs. Barbara Lytle is this year’s American Cancer Society’s Destiny Ball Honoree.

The annual Destiny Ball will be held Nov. 15 at the Williamsport Country Club.

A native of Williamsport, Lytle, a breast cancer survivor, is the widow of Robert Lytle, who lost his battle with a rare form of leukemia in July 2012.

Four months later in November, Barbara received her own cancer diagnosis and began her own battle.

Fortunately, Lytle’s breast cancer was found early by Dr. Timothy Pagana, retired medical director of the Susquehanna Health Kathryn Candor Lundy Breast Health Center. Since Dr. Pagana’s retirement, Lytle has been seen by Dr. Susan Branton at the Breast Health Center and by Dr. Edward Wyshock at the Susquehanna Health Cancer Center.

Lytle had one year of chemotherapy followed by 33 radiation treatments. She is now cancer free.

When asked to comment about the care she received, Lytle said, “I received excellent care at Susquehanna Health Cancer Center.”

“I was impressed by the compassionate attitude of all the nurses and doctors,” she said.

When asked what advice she would give to other cancer patients facing chemotherapy and-or radiation, Lytle said, “Follow what your doctors tell you to do. For example, I didn’t drink the amount of fluids I was instructed to which resulted in an additional hospital stay.”

Throughout her treatments, Lytle sustained her positive “one day at a time” attitude which she believes helped through this period of anxiety.

As a result of her being both the caregiver of a cancer patient and a cancer patient herself, Lytle believes she has become a much stronger person. She learned to do things on her own that she never thought she could do.

While going through treatment, Lytle was given the book “Me and the Ugly C” by Becky Dennington, who relates her own journey as a breast cancer patient.

Dennington “shares the journey of one young woman’s fight against breast cancer, the sacrifices a family makes and the joy found along the way.”

Lytle found this book very helpful, because it described step-by-step what one should expect in her fight against breast cancer. This helped to alleviate many fears Lytle had about her diagnosis and treatment.

Lytle believes three things got her though: her family, her friends and most of all, her faith. She said, “I am very lucky to be the person I am today.”

The theme for this year’s American Cancer Society’s Destiny Ball is “Journey of Hope.”

With her extremely positive attitude, Lytle surely epitomizes just that – hope.

Lytle resides in Williamsport with her cocker spaniel.