Lynn Thanks Surgeon for Saving Her Life, Twice

Oct 16 2023

Lynn Britton doesn’t mince words when talking about the role our ministry has played in her life.

“Bon Secours is fantastic,” she shares. “I trust them thoroughly.”

Lynn also wants to be clear that surgeon Nicole Yeshtokin, DO, may not be of this earth.

“Dr. Yeshtokin is a guardian angel,” Lynn adds. “She saved my life.”

In fact, Lynn’s life has been saved twice. More than five years ago, Lynn received news no one wants to hear, especially when that bad news comes on what should be a joyous day.

It was Lynn’s birthday when she was told that what she thought was a stomach virus was, in fact, colon cancer. Because she didn’t have a colonoscopy at the recommended age, Lynn’s cancer wasn’t discovered until she had a CT scan to diagnose her symptoms. As a result, the obstructing tumor was large and required emergency surgery, which was performed by Dr. Yeshtokin, who practices at Bon Secours Surgical Specialists in our Hampton Roads market.

“It was stage two colon cancer,” Dr. Yeshtokin recalls.

Dr. Yeshtokin operated on Lynn to remove the tumor. Lynn credits the procedure as the first time Dr. Yeshtokin saved her.

“She got it all,” Lynn marvels. She was now a cancer survivor with a strong family history of the disease.

“My father died of cancer and there was a lot of cancer on his side of the family,” Lynn says. “However, there was no history of breast cancer.”

After experiencing colon cancer that had been discovered late, Lynn became an advocate for regular diagnostic testing. It was then at Lynn’s annual mammogram earlier this year that a second cancer diagnosis was revealed.

“After battling colon cancer, I never thought I’d have cancer again,” Lynn says of her breast cancer diagnosis. Lynn looked to Bon Secours and Dr. Yeshtokin. “I knew if she got me through the first one, she could get me through this.”

“Lynn came back to me after she underwent her routine screening mammogram and an abnormality was found confirming breast cancer,” Dr. Yeshtokin shares. “Fortunately, this time we discovered it early.”

In June, Dr. Yeshtokin performed surgery on Lynn to remove the tumor. After five radiation treatments, Lynn is once again cancer-free.

“Completely healthy,” Lynn says. “No cancer anywhere!”

“Lynn has a very positive attitude,” Dr. Yeshtokin adds. “I find that women with positive attitudes have the best outcomes when they are willing to undergo the recommended treatment. Lynn is now a two-time cancer survivor.”

Lynn jokes that she has “nine lives.” She also encourages women to have their annual mammograms, as well as both men and women to have regular colonoscopies based on the recommendations for their age and family history.

“I’m proof … twice now, that they can find it and they can get rid of it,” Lynn shares.

Lynn is both a mother and grandmother, and it’s for those reasons that regular screenings are even more important to her.

“What scared me the most was thinking about the people that loved me and the thought I would be leaving them behind,” she explains. “And again, everyone at Bon Secours who entered my room were all just wonderful. And Dr. Yeshtokin, she fixes you. I can’t say enough.”

Learn more about colon cancer, breast cancer as well as the cancer care services we provide at Bon Secours.

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