Stacey Byrnes, 29, has lived by the motto “When there’s a will, there’s a way,” even after being told she had stage four cancer.
“I found a bump on my left leg. I just didn’t think it was right,” she told FOX 5, adding, “I had to get a biopsy done and then they discovered that it was lymphoma cancer.”
Byrnes, a six-year veteran of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in August.
However, when doctors discovered it, the illness had already spread to her pelvis, neck, and opposite leg.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a general category, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is one of the most common subtypes.
“I never would have expected this to happen,” Byrnes explained. “I was one of the healthiest people.”
When they heard the news, her family, friends, and coworkers stepped up to offer support through six rounds of chemotherapy and the coronavirus pandemic.
In October, her coworkers at the 109th Precinct in Queens gave her a surprise birthday party. In addition, community members in Long Island raised $9,000 to help with medical expenses.
“Every single day I was hearing from people I necessarily don’t talk to on a normal basis,” Byrnes recalled. “Everyone was making sure I was okay, reaching out, seeing how I was.”
When January rolled around, Byrnes was told her cancer was in remission, which gave her a fresh outlook on life.
“I was always a positive person but it just makes you think, you can’t control certain things, so, be happy,” she said.
On May 18, the NYPD’s 109th Precinct shared a video of Byrnes being welcomed back to work. The room was decorated with colorful balloons, and everyone clapped and cheered when she entered:
Today we welcome back Police Officer Stacey Byrnes! Officer Byrnes returned back to work after a year stint fighting cancer. All your brothers and sisters in blue missed you. Welcome back Officer Byrnes!!! ?? @NYPDQueensNorth @NYPDShea @NYPDChiefPatrol @NYPDChiefOfDept pic.twitter.com/mjHV3HWoMI
— NYPD 109th Precinct (@NYPD109Pct) May 18, 2021
“All your brothers and sisters in blue missed you,” the post read.