It all started as a dream…….
Three months prior to my diagnosis, I had a dream that I was emailing my ballteam to tell them that I had breast cancer. I discovered the lump in my breast when I was 38 years old. I went to see my family doctor who reassured me that it was nothing to worry about, likely a harmless cyst. An ultrasound followed, a mammogram and then a biopsy. The dreaded call came from my doctor asking for me to come see her at 8pm. This would be the last appointment of the day. I knew at this point it was cancer. My dream three months earlier was now my nightmare. I was told I had infiltrating ductal breast cancer, stage 2, and would need a lumpectomy, four months of chemotherapy followed by 30 radiation treatments.
I was told with the treatment my chances of recurrence would decrease from 40 percent to 20 percent. At this point, feeling shocked, scared and alone, I began to slowly accept the diagnosis and put my mind to beating it. I never wanted to be “the poor girl with cancer”. If God was able to get me through this, I promised I would try to help other women get through this, as many women had helped me.
After treatment, I attended the YWCA encore program, took a breast health class to learn all I could to continue the battle and be with other survivors. For the past 5 years I have been team captain of a team for the BRIGHTRUN and look forward to every year being able to give back to the Juravinski Cancer Centre with my doctors, family, friends and other survivors. The day is inspirational and when you look around, you know you are not alone. As a survivor, with all the follow up appointments and tests, you never forget what you have been through. You learn to live with it and continue on trying to be as healthy as possible in the hopes of remaining cancer free. My participation in the BRIGHTRUN is part of my healing journey. It is helping my community and is very important to a healthy future.