It was late on a September evening when three doctors came into my hospital room and told me that I had a rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer. I was only 30 years old and they told me I’d be lucky to see the New Year. My spirit was broken. I felt shock and disbelief and anger that they were giving up on me so quickly. “How dare you give up on me when I haven’t given up on myself?” I asked. In that moment I became determined to defy the odds and find what I have since referred to as “the other side” of cancer.
That was 22 years ago. In fact yesterday, on my birthday, I also celebrated 21 years of being cancer free. I credit my recovery in large part to the support I received from a network of friends and family that cheered me on every step of the way. I know firsthand that in addition to excellent medical care, having a team of caring people to rally around you during your cancer journey is a powerful tool. As a cancer survivor and the Executive Director of the CCTFA Foundation, I am passionate about making sure other women with cancer have the support they need to face their illness with hope and optimism. This website is one way we are working to provide those social and emotional supports that are sometimes overlooked when the physical challenges we are facing seem so overwhelming. Since 1992, we have also been helping women manage the effects that cancer and its treatment have on their appearance with the Look Good Feel Better program.
And now, with these words I embark into the world of blogging, where I hope that by sharing some of the things I have learned on my cancer journey, I can help some of you along your own cancer journey. I also invite you to send me your thoughts on this website and share with me some of the things you find helpful in facing cancer. Post a note in the comments section below or send me an email at thecancerjourney@CCTFAfoundation.ca.
We simply aren’t meant to face cancer alone.