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Sandra Fivecoat Dances

"Tap dancing gave me friends who weren’t survivors. It requires intense concentration and helped me retrain my brain, restore my balance, and strengthen my core after chemotherapy and the hysterectomy."

Sandra Fivecoat
Uterine Cancer

While on a cross-country trip to the Grand Canyon with her daughter and four granddaughters, Sandra Fivecoat received a devastating phone call. At age 62, she was diagnosed with endometrial uterine cancer. Sandra had lost her husband to pancreatic cancer and was supporting her son-in-law through treatment for colon cancer, so she knew the journey wouldn’t be easy.

She moved quickly to address the aggressive cancer. Almost immediately, she was referred to gynecologic oncologist Dr. Paul Loar at Texas Oncology–Austin North for a laparoscopic hysterectomy to remove her ovaries. Three weeks after surgery, she began chemotherapy.

“I made a conscious decision to be public about my diagnosis and treatment because cancer is so pervasive,” she said.

Sandra has made it her mission to tell every post-menopausal woman her story. She signs emails with the line: “If you spot, see your doc. If you’re curious, call me.” Her prompting has since inspired three women to detect their uterine cancers early.

When Dr. Loar asked Sandra what she was doing to keep her body active, she mentioned that tap dancing was on her bucket list. Six months after her last chemotherapy session, she bought her first pair of tap shoes.

“My cancer support community is awesome, but I wanted to do something that wasn’t connected to that. I met my current husband on a dance floor, but had never tapped,” she said. “Tap dancing gave me friends who weren’t survivors. It requires intense concentration and helped me retrain my brain, restore my balance, and strengthen my core after chemotherapy and the hysterectomy.”

It’s now been two years, and Sandra taps at least twice a week. In addition, she is learning to play the violin alongside her six-year-old grandson, with plans for the mandolin to follow. She also plans to tour Italy singing with a group at sacred venues in Florence, Rome, and Venice.

“Anything musical – dancing, singing, or playing an instrument – requires concentration and skills that are helpful after cancer,” Sandra said. “My husband says I am a different person — so high, happy, and at peace after three-hour music rehearsals. And I can come home, relax, and garden.”

In addition to dance and music, Sandra is inspired by her family, specifically her son-in-law Michael. He demonstrated strength for his young daughters by organizing a bike group and continuing to ride. Michael has since passed, but his bike group continues to meet.

The information included in this testimonial is based on one patient’s unique experience and is not intended to represent all patient outcomes or expectations.