Editor’s note: As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Light is sharing several stories about people who have survived the disease as well as those working to improve their odds.
Last July, Bird Rock resident Lisa Hinkley, who owns Green Flash Brewing Company with her husband Mike. was on vacation last July when she began reading Kelly Corrigan’s book, “The Middle Place.” She credits this book with inspiring her to perform her own self-exam that led her to find a large lump that an MRI revealed was a 5-centimeter tumor.
In May, after surgery and chemotherapy, Lisa got a clean bill of health from her physicians. “And that,” she says, “is about as good as it gets.”
To celebrate, the Hinkleys are making the brewery’s 9th anniversary celebration at the new location at 6550 Mira Mesa Blvd. on Nov. 12 a fundraiser for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For details go to
We asked Lisa to talk about her experience.
Q: When were you diagnosed and what type of diagnosis did you receive?
A: I was first diagnosed on Aug. 17, 2010. I was originally diagnosed with DCIS, but later found to have Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, that had spread to the sentinal lymph node.
Q: What type of treatment did you receive?
A: I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction, on Oct. 5, followed by four rounds of chemotherapy, which started on Nov. 4 and finished on Jan. 4.
Q: Was there any one person/thing/routine that served as your rock during this time?
A: My husband Mike was definitely my rock during that time. He put everything on hold for me, and made himself available for all doctors appointments and any other support I needed. It was so great to have him at the appointments. I was so overwhelmed that I would forget things the doctor said, yet he remembered everything.
Also, while I was going through diagnosis and treatment, Green Flash was in the midst of a major brewery expansion as well as a complete packaging redesign. Focusing on these projects helped take my mind off the severity of the situation and staying busy made the time pass quickly.
I would be remiss not to mention all of my amazing friends who were a beacon of light during this time. They sent constant messages, offering support and prayers, and I felt so loved and cared for!
Another dear and supportive gesture which I truly appreciated: My son Michael arranged for his school’s football team — the Bishop’s Knights — to wear pink socks and wristbands at football games during October.
Q: How did this diagnosis impact your finances? Did you have any insurance struggles?
A: I am fortunate to have very good health insurance coverage, so my out of pocket expenses were minimal.
Q: Did this diagnosis impact your work? If so, how?
A: Because we are self-employed, I was lucky to have the flexibility to go to doctor's appointments and take whatever time I needed during treatment. Everyone at our company was extremely supportive.