I work in the Pathology Department at London Health Sciences Centre where part of my role is to type pathology reports on patients who commonly have cancer. Never could I have imagined that one day my name would be on one of those reports.
I was diagnosed with invasive mammary carcinoma, ER/PR +, HER2+ in October of 2012. I was 46 years old and had never even considered having a mammogram, but through self examination, I did find something that did not feel right. I was then treated with surgery, chemotherapy, Herceptin and Tamoxifen.
I had always been the type of person who dealt with life’s stressors by working out daily. Unfortunately, one of the drugs that I had to take for treatment had the possibility of weakening my heart. I had to be checked regularly for this, which made me afraid to work out. Therefore, I had quite a difficult time dealing with my diagnosis and treatment.
Luckily for me, I had a great support group. My family, friends, and co-workers, as well as access to professional counseling. I was lucky enough to never have to go to treatment alone, as someone always offered to come with me. I had friends (and even strangers) bring dinners regularly and I even had one friend send a meditation teacher to my home. The kindness was endless. Even though I felt like my life had been turned upside down, at the same time I also felt very fortunate to have all of these wonderful people in my life to help me through it. No one should have to go through this alone.