4-time breast cancer survivor loses husband to cancer; encourages others with story
(04/26/19) - We first met Cindy Halabicky about a year ago. She was being honored with a photo shoot from S.E. Fulmer Photography for her bravery in taking on cancer and winning.
Cindy has beaten breast cancer four times since 2006. The fourth time, the cancer spread to her sinuses but cleared up with radiation. The photo shoot was a welcomed break from all of it.
"It was so much fun. I was in the city of Flint, Cafe Rhema, up in the - I think it was the Rutherford Ramp - where we took a lot of pictures overlooking the city," Cindy Halabicky said.
A few months after the photo shoot, Cindy and her husband, Mark, received more bad news. Upper back pain that he had been experiencing for a while was actually the result of something else.
"In July it was when we found out that Mark had Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in his abdomen and it was already 4 by 5 by 8 inches," Halabicky said. "It was weird that I had been the one that had been sick since 2006 and to find that out, I was like, 'No, how can that be possible? This is my illness.'"
Mark underwent aggressive treatment, and Cindy would learn in October that her cancer metastasized to her bones.
"He went with me for my six month PET scan because of course he couldn't work through all that. And that's when I found out that it had spread to four of my bones - my neck, my hip and my rib," Halabicky said.
Now both of them were fighting cancer at the same time. Cindy was both a patient and a caregiver, and says that any pain she felt was for her husband. He died in December, five months after his diagnosis.
"I can handle myself. I don't have a problem. I can take pain pretty well, or treatments - all of these horrible treatments. But my heart always went out to him because he was the quiet one, the gentle one," Halabicky said.
There are reminders all around her home of his love. All of which helps her to continue her fight. Their children and her good friends also keep her going, along with volunteering at McLaren Flint.
Cindy learned last month that the cancer has spread to eight more bones. Always positive, she is looking forward to being a part of a clinical trial in Detroit starting Monday.
"I guess people that have metastatic breast cancer you just have to keep going through protocols because there isn't a cure for metastatic breast cancer," Halabicky said.
On Sunday Cindy will be a guest speaker at the Susan G. Komen
in Lansing. She will tell her story while also encouraging others.
"You can't put life on hold. You have to live. You don't know if you have two years or twenty years, so I'm living the best I can," Halabicky said.