“ Your will can take you a long way. It's been said before, never let someone tell you what is possible. There is always a way to find a solution.
Lily Bones is a graceful mAss Kicker from down under! She is a classically trained ballet dancer from Australia. She has performed in 8 countries throughout the world with traveling dance companies. She was initially diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in August 2009, then she relapsed in 2011 with Stage 4 Breast Cancer with lesions in the spine and a lymph node. She is currently, spearheading efforts to bring more awareness of breast cancer in young active women through dance. We were very fortunate to connect with her and ask for a few questions.
mK: Thanks for doing this Lily! How did you find out about your diagnosis?
LB: I was flown home from my job in Europe back to Australia thinking we would be operating on a benign condition but when I was given a biopsy it was found to be IDC, Breast Cancer (Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer)
I am a two time survivor as the first surgery and treatment did not work. So I was metastatic. Now I am all clear or NED.
mK: Congrats! What were your symptoms?
LB: I’d had a breast lump I’d had checked by five doctors for two years. Fibroadenoma.
mK: Yikes! Why did you get involved in advocacy?
LB: Because 50% of young women under 35 have Fibroadenomas and young women are often diagnosed late because doctors tell young women they are too young for breast cancer.
mK: What motivates you?
LB: Life, Art, Dance, music, travel and people.
mK: Who are your heroes?
LB: Regular Wiser who left us for a better place recently. Some very wonderful mentors. Kevin Richmond a great ballet master, Yumiko also an incredible dancer and business women. Believe it or not Lance Armstrong helped me get through my diagnosis in 2011 with his auto biography. I was sad to see him defamed. His body did some incredible things after cancer (even if the drugs helped) and that fact will never change.
mK: Lance still beat cancer. That is still a pretty big accomplishment. They can’t take that away from him. What makes you laugh, cry, angry?
LB:. I love watching live entertainment. Theatre. Seeing great performers. I get angry that football earns so much more as an industry than the arts.
mK: Alfonso Ribero had “The Carlton,” Michael Jackson had “The Moonwalk”, Chubby Checker had “The Twist”, Psy had “Gangnam Style” What would you say is name of your “signature dance move”? Can you describe it?
LB: I’d say its a ronverse (means to tip) in ala 2nd into pasdebouree triple fouette finish in fifth.
mK: OK, I’ll admit I had to google the ballet terminology! I’ll tweek the question, “What is the name of your signature dance club/pub move?”. For instance we created “pistoning” one night at a friend’s place watching a basketball game because it gave our team good luck!
LB: “Back Bend Jump Arounds”
mK: “BB-JAs”… What is the toughest challenge a survivor faces?
LB: Worrying about the cancer returning. I hate to be obvious here but living with being told you are dying. Finding work and life in a new situation after treatment. For many living with the side effects of the treatmnet.
mK: OK, we are going to “lighten things up” now… What is your guilty pleasure?
LB: My guilty pleasure is coffee and chocolate. The simple things. Touching my boyfriends ears, yes I know that sounds weird!
mK: HAHAHA! If you could go back to any age you want for a month, what would you choose? Why?
LB: I would choose to go back to when I was young playing on the beach with my Mum and grand parents with lots of sunshine and not a worry in the world. Life’s so easy when your grandparents buy you ice-cream and spoil you.
mK: What are you up to now?
LB: I’m in love. I have many projects. One is a book called Dancing with Breast Cancer which I have a first draft of. It’s 11 chapters on dancing as an elite athlete in various ballet and dance companies in eight different countries. The other three chapters are on Breast Cancer a look at a personal experience dealing with it at thirty and all the treatment options I found.
Dancing new work. Teaching and fundraising for cancer research by performing at Galas.
mK: GREAT! Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?
LB: Get a second opinion or third. Its your body remember you do have a choice as to what you want other people to do to it. Don’t let someone scare you. Find a doctor that wants what you want and will fight for that as hard as you will. The say don’t use Dr google but I say the internet is an amazing source of information. Pub med is great and you need to read between the lines and when you find a treatment that something that sounds good investigate. Its the same as buying anything.
mK: Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything.
LB: I speak Chinese Mandarin and Spanish.
mK: Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?
LB: Your will can take you a long way. It’s been said before, never let someone tell you what is possible. There is always a way to find a solution. Cancer is a business find the right product for you and provider.
Lily Bones: multi-lingual traveler, writer, coffee and chocolate addict, ear toucher, “Back bend jump around-er”, internationally acclaimed ballet dancer, 2x breast cancer thriver, and driven individual. Thanks for answering our questions. We look forward to seeing what you do next. Thanks for teaching us some ballet terminology. Check out her Facebook page, Dancing With Breast Cancer to see what she is up to next!