- her story
A Significant Turn
It’s funny; as I write this and list the different parts of my life, I find it odd to add ‘cancer’ to the chapters. I remember it like it was yesterday, although at times it feels like it was a lifetime ago. It was April 2007. I went for my annual physical. I was only 43 at the time so I wasn’t due for a mammogram. My sister Maria told me to ask to have one done even though the recommended age is 50 for a healthy woman with no breast cancer history. If you know Maria, there was no way I was leaving the doctor’s office without asking for a referral.
You know, it was strange. As I sat in the waiting room, I knew I would be there again. I am a pretty positive person with a good attitude, but call it intuition. I had this strange feeling that this was only the beginning. They called me back for a biopsy, routine, I was told. It was the day of our first basketball game for the Ontario championships. Bill and I now coach for the London Ramblers. I sat on the bench as the game was played, trying not to think about what the results might be. No one knew what Bill and I were dealing with at the time. The following week, we got the call from my doctor, telling me that I had breast cancer.
My knees went weak and I thank God that Bill was there to catch me. I bet anyone who has ever heard this kind of news will tell you that a million thoughts go through your head immediately. Your emotions run wild with fear, disbelief, anger, sadness, worry and confusion. I knew this was not only going to be a physical and emotional challenge for me but for my family as well. My kids, oh my God, my kids. What will they have to endure while I go through this? What will happen to them if I don’t get through this? How much of my life will I have to give up? I loved what my life was about. I didn’t want to give it up. I didn’t want any part of it to change.
Here I am a personal trainer. Exercised regularly, ate well, no history of breast cancer, only 43, there must be a mistake. Why me? According to the breast cancer poster I read only recently, this should not be happening to me. I have spent most of my life helping people become healthy and teaching them to take care of their bodies. What kind of role model am I now? Can you be healthy and have breast cancer?