In 1999, my husband and I were on a vacation in the Maritime Provinces celebrating both of our retirements. One night, near the end of our trip, I rolled over in bed and felt a sore spot in my left breast. I kept “checking this out” for the next few days — and sure enough, it didn’t go away and felt like a small marble. Mind you, I’d had a clear mammogram two months earlier and figured it wasn’t anything to worry about. Wrong! One week later I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I was put in touch with a wonderful surgeon who had an opening in his schedule the following week and the “journey” began: a lumpectomy, 8 treatments of chemotherapy and 34 of radiation —- a story not unlike many other women who have battled this disease. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the Breast Cancer Coalition until I was about halfway through my treatment. I was at Parkleigh and wanted to buy a “Comfort Heart.” They were all out, but recommended that I go across the street to the Breast Cancer Coalition to see if they had any. My connection with BCCR began on that day. I signed up to sell pink carnations at the mall, was asked to go to Albany and see what breast cancer advocacy was all about and worked on the “Rare Chair” Gala. I continue to remain active with Advocacy and the Gala.
In 2006, just when I was beginning to feel that cancer was a thing of the past for me, I was diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer —- very rare and not connected with my breast cancer at all! After surgery and chemotherapy, I’m happy to report that I am in remission and hope to be for a long time! I feel very fortunate to have had the undying support of family and friends. My association with BCCR has kept me focused on the positive, while enjoying friendships I otherwise would not have had.
Remember, cancer cannot shatter hope, silence courage or conquer the spirit.