Woman profiled in Eyewitness News cancer documentary finishes chemo

NEW YORK (WABC) -- After following Elaine Alden for months as part of an Eyewitness News documentary "Elaine's Tribe: A Breast Cancer Journey," we caught up with Elaine just ahead of Valentine's Day to participate in her final day of chemotherapy.

Alden rang the bell in the hospital where she was receiving care to signify the end of her treatment and handed out Valentine's Day gifts to hospital staff who had supported her in her recovery.

"As I ring this bell, it signifies the close of one chapter and the start of another," she said, reading an inscription above the bell. "I ring once for all I have endured, I ring twice to celebrate today, and I ring once more for the future."

Family and friends also came to the hospital to mark Alden's final day of treatment.

"I am a mess right now," said her husband, Chris Alden, who has spent all 19 weeks of chemotherapy by her side. "I am feeling really fortunate because, you know, I lost my father to cancer. And I feel like we got the chance that he did not get to have, and I am really thankful for that."

Alden said she is relieved, hopeful, and grateful for all of the support she's received.

Doctors diagnosed Alden with breast cancer in June of 2018. After undergoing a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, she learned the cancer had returned in late September 2019. She would need another 19 weeks of chemotherapy followed by radiation.

"I think it does, you know, really put life into perspective," she said, adding that the support of family, friends and even total strangers helped her continue the fight.

Now, she has completed the chemotherapy portion of her treatment.

"To hear people coming to you and telling you that you're their inspiration because I am doing this makes it easier for me, and I don't want to disappoint," she said. "So yeah, I got through it again. I put on Instagram, Nelson Mandela says, 'It always seems impossible until it's done.' And then there's a cheesy teacher one that says, 'Even the word impossible says I'm possible.' So there's your cheese for the day."

She will now begin radiation therapy to ensure her cancer is completely gone.

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