October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
ywcaencore Stories of Inspiration & Hope
Despite having no family history, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2012, at the age of 49.
Initially the diagnosis was devastating. However, with good support and my faith I was able to find the courage and strength I needed. I opted to have a bilateral mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. The hair loss was difficult but I purchased a fabulous wig and had fun wearing it. To keep my spirits up, each day I made sure I put a little lipstick or blush on. Ten months later I had breast reconstruction.
Through the Canadian Cancer Society I had a peer support person who was a breast cancer survivor; her support was phenomenal. I also joined the ywcaencore program. There were many aspects of the program I found highly beneficial. The guest speakers discussing various topics relating to breast cancer, the opportunity to speak to other women facing this disease as well as the aquatic exercises to improve mobility were extremely helpful.
My message to women is never skip your mammograms. I had a cluster of calcifications that could not be felt and only detected by mammogram and in some cases, such as mine, a biopsy revealed early stage breast cancer. This was a routine mammogram.
With the availability of programs such as ywcaencore, women facing breast cancer are shown that they are not alone and that a full recovery is possible.