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Mattie Lambert

Cancer Slowed Her Down, For a While

Holy Name Cancer Patient stories - Mattie Lambert

She is used to zipping through the rooms in her home, the grocery store, her yard, wherever she is to get things done. Mattie Lambert, who is married, has a teenage son and is a foster mom, moves fast to accomplish things, both small and large. 

But treatment for cancer had her "moving like a turtle" and for the first time, she questioned what she was doing. "What was I thinking?" she asked herself several times as she continued with plans to adopt a 4-year-old boy living with them. Mattie was 60 at the time.

"Today I feel good, but looking back, it was rough for a while," Mattie said.

Mattie found out about her cancer in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the virus hit, she had fibroids and was scheduled to have them removed during a hysterectomy. Once the pandemic started, however, her gynecologist postponed the procedure. 

By the time she returned to her doctor several months later, she was bleeding. After some testing, Mattie was diagnosed with stage 1 endometrial cancer.

"I wasn't expecting that," Mattie said. "It was really shocking and took some time to process it."

Her doctor recommended Dr. Sharyn Lewin, Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Holy Name Medical Center.

"Dr. Lewin was so good at explaining everything that was going on," Mattie said. "She said my cancer didn't spread to other organs but I needed to have surgery right away."

Mattie's surgery went remarkably well. "Believe it or not, it was completely painless," she said.

"Everyone at Holy Name took really good care of me, from the nurses to technicians, physical therapists – everybody was just wonderful," she said. "I was up walking on the second day."

Once Mattie recovered from surgery she needed six months of chemotherapy. It was during her treatment when she felt her energy drain away. Her husband and son helped take care of her soon-to-be adopted son. 

"Some days, looking back, I don't know how I made it through it. You take your strength and energy for granted until you've been through something and you don't have it anymore," Mattie said. "It wasn't until I was staying in bed because I was so tired that I really appreciated how much I was able to get done before that."

Mattie's faith in God is strong and is the foundation of her positive attitude. She's grateful she didn't suffer any other symptoms such as nausea from her chemotherapy. Yes, she did lose her hair but she really didn't mind, she was thinking of shaving her head anyway. And she had no side effects from radiation therapy.

She regained her pep and is back to running her household, proceeding with the adoption and taking care of that precious youngster, all with gratitude, to God, her family and Holy Name. 

"I'm a very strong believer in God and I knew I was going to be fine, without a shadow of a doubt," she said. "I thank God for Dr. Lewin and her team – they are amazing. I'm so grateful for how everything went – they all took such good care of me."

Learn more about Mattie's endometrial cancer physician at Holy Name