Wilsonville woman celebrates five years cancer free
Published 3:00 pm Thursday, September 3, 2015
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
WILSONVILLE— Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” rang through the hallway as Lynne Johnson Morton danced through the doctor’s office. Her medical team was by her side, reveling in the moment; Morton was officially cancer free for five years.
June marked five years since August 2010 when Morton was diagnosed stage three colon cancer after a routine colonoscopy. Soon after, she went straight into surgery where they removed nine inches from her colon, and Morton spent her 50th birthday, Oct. 5, 2010, receiving her first round of chemotherapy.
Twelve rounds of chemo later, Morton said the two things she learned from having cancer were joy and prayer.
“My life is totally changed from having cancer,” Morton said. “I’ve been a Christian for years, but it really showed me how to have a personal relationship. It wasn’t about just going to church on Sundays, and it wasn’t just about reading my Bible. It was about a deep relationship with God. That’s what cancer did for me. It brought joy to my life.”
During her seven months of chemo, Morton said prayer was the most important thing to her. Rather than having hope alone, she said she needed prayer first.
She gave out 30 bracelets, featuring the word “Prayer,” to her group of prayer warriors and supporters, and she used an email journal to share her experiences. Every morning, Morton would sing the hymn, “I surrender all,” changing the words to “I surrender cancer.”
“If you were to ask me what the hardest thing about chemo was: I could not go to church,” Morton said. “It killed my immune system, and my doctor told me for six months he did not want me in church. It broke my heart.”
Chemotherapy did have other negative impacts on Morton. She said she had every side effect caused by the treatment. Her skin reacted to the second round, and she developed neuropathy in her hands and feet. She was forced to wear gloves and had to warm water bottles on the floor vents before drinking them.
Long term, Morton lost the lining of her tongue and can no longer palate salt, eliminating some of her favorites items, such as potato chips and salted fries.
Through it all, Morton kept her faith in God and kept positivity in her life.
“I really, really want to stress…the importance of when you have an illness, you have to have a strong relationship with God,” Morton said. “You have to surrender 100 percent.”