Erna Vitullo is a breast cancer survivor who has also spoken about her journey at past Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation events
On June 23, 2010 I noticed a lump in my breast. I called St. Michael’s hospital that night and within no time I had my appointment. After going through all the tests, they confirmed I had Stage 1 Class C breast cancer that was already aggressive, but contained. This was during the summertime and the hospital told me that I might have to wait for surgery. I wanted it removed right away – luckily they had a cancellation and on Aug. 16, 2010 I had my surgery.
For the past two years I have been extremely proud to put together a team for my sister, Kate. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer 20 months ago. Kate has beaten the odds time and time again; she continues to surprise her doctors and nurses. If it weren’t for people like us, collecting donations and participating in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, Kate may never have been given the opportunities and treatments she has been so fortunate to have.
Colleen Curtis was the survivor guest speaker at the 2013 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in Mississauga on Oct. 6.
Well, this was a pretty unique weekend. Around this time, I always think about my friends who had breast and ovarian cancer. This year it was my turn. On Friday, Oct. 4 I had a partial mastectomy. From a routine mammogram to biopsy and then surgery – so much was happening so quickly that I didn’t have the chance to stop and think about what was actually happening to me.
We tend to put off a lot in life, all the while time marches on and diligently away. We say we’re going to save things for a rainy day, for a special occasion or for when we have more time. At the age of 34 I have lost my mother, both of my grandmothers, my great aunt, my aunt, my uncle, a college and high school friend to varying forms of cancer. And I have more family and friends still fighting courageously with every ounce of strength they have.