Toronto: triOS College for the Cure - CIBC Run for the Cure


triOS College for the Cure

“-And this was my journey….
I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on June 8th, 2019, and when they placed her on my chest, I noticed a marble-sized lump on my left breast. Dr’s had checked it out and informed me that was a clogged milk duct and encouraged me to keep pumping and breastfeeding.
A month has gone by, and the lump kept growing. After going through many ultrasounds, tests, and appointments, they finally decided to do a biopsy to determine what was causing this lump which by then was 8cm.
On August 19th, I got a call to let me know the results were in. I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer, Stage 3. On August 23rd, I met with an oncologist at Humber River Hospital who explained the entire process and treatment plan. I had no time to process anything that within a few days, I had my first round of chemotherapy. The first two weeks were spent in and out of the hospital for bone scans, CT Scans, MRIs, Mammograms, and bloodwork. I went through 8 rounds of chemotherapy, double mastectomy surgery, and 25 rounds of radiation treatment and was put on hormone blockers for ten years. My maternity leave was spent in and out of the hospital instead of being with my newborn. I wasn’t even given the chance to heal after giving birth. My body had never endured so much trauma in such a short period of time. All the treatment was back-to-back, and I simply had no chance to enjoy simple milestones with my newborn and my eldest, who started Junior Kindergarten.
Some days I felt like a warrior, and some days I felt like giving up. But despite it all, I had such an amazing support system who continue to cheer me on every day! This journey has taught me so much that I’m forever grateful. My faith has kept me strong to fight every day and simply be positive!
I had to go through waves of acceptance. Hearing the news, losing my hair, having my nails turn black, losing my nails, losing my eyelashes and eyebrows, having a port placed inside of me, removing both breast and 30 lymph nodes, radiation that affected my skin and bones, taking hormone blockers that put me into early menopause, experiencing hot flashes every day, chemo brain, numbness in my feet and fingers, nerve damages, joint pain, developing lymphedema on my arm and going to Physiotherapy every week.
Upon completing my treatment, I was very against going through the next steps which was breast reconstruction as I thought at that time it would only serve my vanity purposes. Prior to making my decision I went through numerous of consultation, research, and reflection.
But after lots of research and thinking I had finally decided to go through the journey. Now I knew going into this journey was going to be a lengthy one with numerous of surgeries and hospital visits. I had gone through 5 surgeries in the span of 3 years, double mastectomy, inputting expanders, fat grafting and final implants. The journey was long as it was a process to stretch out my skin but by far this was the best decision, I had made to make me feel like a woman again. Despite all the lengthy recovery I remained positive and kept telling myself that the end results will be amazing. I couldn’t have been happier.
Here I am today, 4 years into my remission back to living my life and working. I’m forever thankful for overcoming the biggest battle of my life. I know my body and energy level will never be the same, but I will continue to fight and push myself. The 30cm scar across my chest is a constant reminder of this nasty disease I had. But I have accepted the fact that I fought for my life, and that’s what matters! Someone once said to me, “I don’t know how you do it.” I replied, “I wasn’t given a choice.” I will continue to fight and spread awareness with the support of the triOS College Team.
Finally, as part of my recovery journey and my personal mission to raise awareness, I will be running for a marathon this coming October. I would highly encourage my triOS family to join me in the run as I’ve witnessed your continuous support throughout my whole journey.
“I’m a survivor and I plan to keep it that way!”

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