name is Herb Bitting and I am a cancer
survivor. I am 70 going on 71.
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 1995
and was treated by external radiation in
January, February and March, 1996 at St.
Mary’s Cancer Center in Walla Walla, WA.
The treatment was successful at this
time and I was cancer free for 4 years.
During my six month check up in July 2000 the cancer
was found to be back. At this time I was
given a Lupron shot and have been taking
this shot off and on since. The shot
lasts for 4 months and I have 2 shots
and then will be off the shot for about
2 years. During my check up in December
of this year, 2006, I will probably have
to have another shot.
In July I was divorced after 37 years of marriage. This
divorce was not what I wanted at this
time and then with the cancer diagnosis
in September I just about gave up. My
children and friends at that time pulled
After about two years of self pity, depression and
medical treatment I finally wised up and
decided that life was too short and you
need to live each day to the fullest.
I got involved with a church which was a great
Then on June 8, 2002 I went to the Round Up Athletic
Club to inquire about a weight loss
exercise program and met this wonderful
trainer, Michele Cooke, who started
working with me.
This then led to the introduction to the SPIRIT Program
and another wonderful trainer, Debra
Shampine, who worked with me for a year.
I also started with the massage program
and have continued to have a massage
once a month. This feels so good and
helps to wake this old body up.
Michele Cooke and the SPIRIT Program
keep opening up new avenues for me. She
has gotten me started biking and
snowshoeing. These new activities have
opened me up to a whole new set of
This has made me get more involved and I now try to
Bitting, Pendleton SPIRIT Program
participant and active volunteer
"My name is Sharon Maness and I am a 6
year cancer survivor. I am 63 years old.
In July of 2000 I was diagnosed with
breast cancer. I had found the lump
myself and it did not show up on the
mammogram I just had done.
After undergoing a biopsy, I underwent a lumpectomy and the removal
of 14 lymph nodes. I then started 7 ½
weeks of radiation treatment. I had to
travel to Walla Walla, WA (90 miles
round trip) five days a week.
A year after my cancer surgery I found 2 more lumps in the same
breast and underwent surgery to remove
them. They turned out to be benign for
which I am very grateful. Since the
cancer surgery I have been to the
oncologist at 6 month intervals and am
now down to once a year. I continue to
see the radiation doctor every 6 months
and get my regular mammograms EVERY
I could not have made it through my cancer ordeal without the help
of my family and friends. They were very
supportive of me.
By attending our once a month cancer survivors luncheon and joining
in the SPIRIT Program I have made a lot
of new friends who have undergone the
same cancer problems that I had. I try
to guide people through the cancer
ordeal by sharing my books and
information and telling them about the
Debra Shampine has been a great help to
me as my personal trainer, coach and
friend. Recently, Michele Cook has come
on board in our exercise program. I
highly recommend the exercise program in
the SPIRIT Program.
After having a pacemaker put in and a colon surgery (not cancerous)
I am back at the exercise classes.
Since undergoing surgery for cancer I have begun writing poetry. To
date I have 6 poems published and have
just been nominated for the
International Who’s Who in Poetry.
Writing poetry has been a form of
therapy for me.
In our Fall Fashions for Survivors Style Show I was a model for 2
years, but this year I helped behind the
scenes. For 4 years I walked in the
Healing Steps Walk for the Cancer
Community Renewal Project’s SPIRIT
If I have learned one thing through my cancer ordeal it is that you
can’t get through it alone. Family and
friends are a must.
If I could say something to any woman undergoing cancer surgery,
I’d recommend that she read all she can,
check the internet, ask your doctor all
the questions you want answered. I
always take a list with me to the
My husband of 42 years, Cecil, and I have 2 married daughters (both
in their 30’s) and 4 grandchildren. Both
of my daughters have already seen their
doctors about mammograms and are aware
that they will need to have regular
My family tree has a long history of cancer. My maternal
grandmother died of breast cancer and my
father died of colon and prostate
cancer. My husband lost his grandmother,
and both parents to colon cancer.
It is my hoe that someday there will be a cure for all cancer and
no one will have to fear cancer every
Maness - Pendleton SPIRIT Program