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A two-time cancer survivor, Sain stays positive

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
SPENCER – Mary Sain, a retired beautician, is going to be an author – well, sort of.
She has written a short story about her personal experiences as a two-time cancer survivor, and it might be part someday of a second compilation being put together by Sophia Shockley Peavy in Georgia.
Sain’s essay appears on this page. It describes her battle with breast cancer in 1995-96, followed by a completely different fight with lung cancer in 2002.
What shines through the story is Sain’s positive and thankful attitude through significant surgeries and, in the case with the breast cancer, 33 radiation treatments.
Sain’s daughter, Linda Bradley, is a nurse in Eatonton, Ga., and she and others urged Sain to be a contributor to the second compilation. The first book was titled, “Bless You, Sister. I’ll Be Prayin’ for You. Stories by Bodacious Women Surviving Cancer with Courage.”
It included the stories of 44 women.
“They thought mine should be written,” Sain says.
She received strong encouragement from, among others, the Rev. David Nelson, a friend; the Rev. Carrie Bishop, the former pastor at Calvary Lutheran; and Dr. Rudy Busby, her surgeon for the lung cancer.
Several of the women in the first “Bless You, Sister” book signed it for Mary and, in Lynn Lankford’s case, wrote a long, loving note to her.
Sain says Lankford, a registered nurse, has adopted her as a mother.
Sain is 86 today, healthy and active. Her husband of 56 years, the late Jim Sain, was a Norfolk Southern foreman at Spencer Shops. The couple were able to travel to Hawaii three different times before he died in 2001.
Now Mary Sain lives with her son, James F. Sain III, at the longtime family home on Hollywood Drive.
Mary Sain kept working until she was 70.
She has a grandson and two great-granddaughters.
What would be her advice to anyone hearing a diagnosis of “cancer” from a doctor?
“You can’t be depressed,” Sain says.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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