I am one of the very lucky ones; I was encouraged through the Quebec Health Care system to go for a mammogram. At first I didn’t think I needed it, there had never been any cancer in my family. Eventually I decided to get checked out.
I wasn’t worried when the technician mentioned that I had a lot of micro-calcifications that I would hear from the doctor – I didn’t have a doctor, but one phoned and sent me for a biopsy.
Still no concern about the biopsy until I received the phone call from the surgeon telling me I had breast cancer. It was like my world stopped, I was so glad that I wasn’t alone in the house when I took the phone call.
One of the hardest parts of receiving a cancer diagnosis is telling your family. My children live 4,500 kms away – those were very difficult phone calls.
My treatment was very minimal, a partial masectomy, with no chemotherapy necessary.
I was diagnosed in August 2013, surgery November 2013 and my follow-up mammograms show that I am clear, and healthy.
I am so thankful to have discovered the West Island Dragons. This team of powerful, positive women understand what it means to have received a cancer diagnosis. Paddling keeps me active and helps remind me not to take life and the ability to be active for granted. For me it was very life affirming, and the bonus is to have a whole team of friends with a special bond.
Because of early detection, I did not have to go through such grueling treatments as many of our team members have, for which I am grateful. It may sound strange but another thing for which I am grateful is that I am healthy enough to shovel my own driveway, and believe it or not I give thanks each time.
Thank you Quebec Health Care.