I am a cancer fighter ... and a survivor!
I don't normally talk about my story as it didn't play out like most. I am one of the VERY lucky ones. I was diagnosed, I had surgery and after almost 10 years of being monitored by an oncologist I was given the all clear. I did not suffer through treatment or lose my hair, I was and am VERY lucky.
I am proud to run 5km (yikes) on the Road to Relay this June and I am proud to tell my story ... a success story I hope many others will tell thanks to the money we raise this June.
So, here is my story.
May 10, 1999. I don't think you ever forget the day you are told you have cancer.
It was a pretty big day for me. I had just turned 23, just graduated University and just that morning started my first day at a new job where I was handed a plane ticket to Vancouver where I would start my career. Oh yeah, and I just found out I had cancer.
I remember his words ... low-grade malignant sarcoma. I remember how nice my doctor was as he told me I would need another surgery to remove the affected tissue. I remember feeling numb.
The next few weeks were a blur. I had moved from Toronto to Vancouver, found a place to live and started my new job. The distraction was welcome - there was no time to worry about the diagnosis with so much else going on.
Shortly thereafter I flew home for graduation ... and my second surgery. Much to the chagrin of my oncologist I was back in the air two days later to avoid detection at work. I was young and afraid that my diagnosis would hurt my career so I kept it secret. I will never forget the look on the doctor's face when I "popped into emerg" on my lunch break to have 18 staples removed.
The next 9 years involved regular follow ups for x-rays and physicals to ensure the cancer had not come back. As the appointments spread further apart so did the anxiety ... that is until my final appointment. I was living in Calgary and was coming home to Toronto to see my fiancee. The words were different this time ... the words hit home. I remember him saying "you're still here ... you won". I remember feeling numb. All this time I thought my cancer wasn't real ... I never had chemo, I never lost my hair, I never thought of myself as fighting cancer.
As I said in the beginning I am one of the VERY lucky ones. I know now how scared I should have been. I know now how lucky I am.
I am proud to be raising funds to support the fight against cancer. The money I raise will help the Canadian Cancer Society fund life-saving cancer research, offer vital information on cancer and provide compassionate support services to people living with cancer and their families.
Help me reach my fundraising goal!
Please pledge me now and join me in the fight against cancer.
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Thanks for your support!