October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
ywcaencore Stories of Inspiration & Hope
Hi, I’m Margaret Carter, 58 years old and retired from the Ministry of Health.
I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer from my annual mammogram, the summer of July 2006. I had my surgery within a month, followed by two-plus years of chemotherapy, radiation and five years of oral medication. Yes, I survived the full monty!
Only weeks before my surgery I was reading a Hello Canada magazine and enjoying the sun in my backyard. I thought that everything in my life was how I had hoped it would be at 51 years old.
How could I know that from the moment of my diagnosis I would be facing a situation that would impact my personal life, family and career for the rest of my life, but in a positive way?
The more I opened up to the experts at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, the more I learned of breast cancer survival.
I am blessed beyond measure by our health-care system in the Hamilton community: the professionals at the ywcaencore program and Wellwood House, that serve to benefit survivors and life after cancer. These angels that walk amongst us have taught me hope and to empower myself. I am appreciative to be a member of such a support system.
So every morning when I get up, I live with gratitude and celebrate it, and I don’t worry about tomorrow. Coping can be difficult, but the positive outcomes of breast cancer have taught me to be more PRESENT in my life and cast those dark thoughts aside.
One thing I tell myself is, since I am a survivor, I can pretty much handle any challenge or hardship life will give me. Experience is a tremendous teacher. Life is precious and I’m grateful for each moment.