ROCHESTER, Minn. (KEYC) - Earlier this year, Jean Ann Hastings was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, stage two triple negative breast cancer.
In March, she began chemotherapy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
“I used to call it dance therapy because I hate the word chemotherapy,” she said.
Her other treatment was an infectious dose of optimism.
“Jean Ann is the definition of positive,” her childhood friend, Beth Pinkney, said.
Hastings credits that positivity to her friends and family, who came from across the Midwest to sit by her side through months of chemo.
“They were there to make me laugh through my transfusions and all of that, and I’m so thankful for that, because they’re a great group of family and friends,” she said.
Now, the dance therapy is coming to an end. But the dancing is not.
“When you find out you have cancer, you kind of reflect on your bucket list," Hastings said. "I’ve always wanted to be a part of a flash mob. And it kind of went out 10 years ago, so I told my kids I want to create my own, and they were all for it. And this is the great outcome of friends and family who came to support me today.”
So with her support group, which she named her “Breastie Besties,” Hastings danced her way out of chemotherapy at Mayo Clinic.
“This whole experience just kind of taught us to be kind, be good to people, just to appreciate every day and that every day is a gift,” Pinkney said. “It was just a thrill to be a part of it and we’re so blessed that she’s done so well.”
Hastings still has one chemotherapy session and surgery ahead. Her advice for anyone beginning their own cancer journey: find your community.
“You’re not alone," Hastings said. "Somebody will be there for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.”