In April 2008, at the age of 41, I was diagnosed with invasive carcinoma – breast cancer. The next step was to schedule surgery – a lumpectomy and lymph node dissection to determine the grade and progression of the cancer. During the surgery it was discovered that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes so they were removed and my cancer then was raised to stage two.
I was determined to carry on my duties as GoodLife Toronto GroupEX Regional Manager without any special treatment. Many people at my work were immensely supportive and offered help and assistance. I received so many emails wishing me best wishes and health. I still have them!
What I appreciated most from my colleagues was that I wasn’t treated differently or with kid gloves. Since I persevered through my illness, it was easy at times for people to forget I was sick and the expectation of meeting the demands of my role as a regional manager, an instructor and at home as a mother and wife were still there. (I am a mother of two boys 27 and three)
Read the rest of this entry »
My name is Billie Jo and like a lot of others I have not been touched by breast cancer, YET.
I am 39 years old, I have two grandmothers aged 93 and 86, a mother, a sister, three daughters of my own, 6 nieces, 3 sisters-in-law and a mother in law. All of these women inspire me each day in some way. This is my first Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure but certainly don’t want it to be my last. The women in my life have inspired me to be healthier & happier.
We are running for the countless woman in Canada who aren’t as lucky as we…..Our team, The Desert Diva’s, is a combination of mothers/daughters, cousins, sisters & friends, all coming together for a great cause!!!
Today July 21/2009 I gave my three girls, 9 year old twins and 10 yr old, pink streaks in their hair!!
This is how we colored our world pink, and our reminder to help find a cure for Breast cancer!!!
Billie Jo Rossing
I decorated your homes, helped you choose your paint colours, and sometimes even tried to give you a little bit of courage to try something a bit more dramatic. My name is Kathy McNally, and for many years I worked as a decorating consultant.
On December, 7, 2005, I received the shock of my life. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and was told that my surgery would take place within just a few weeks, and could expect a long drawn out series of chemotherapy treatments after that. As much as my entire family and circle of loving friends tried to get me out of my dark mood, I found myself constantly thinking, “Is this it? Is my life to end so soon?”
As much as I tried to wear my brightest and bravest face, especially in front of the younger members of the family, my darling little nieces Kassandra and Meagan picked up on my fears, and decided to do something about it. They asked their mother to take them to the mall, and upon arriving, headed straight for a store that lets you make up your own stuffed animals.
The evening before I was to go to the hospital for my mastectomy the girls showed up at my door with beaming faces. “Open it Aunty Kath.” they squealed in unison as they shoved a hand decorated gift bag in my face. From within the folds of tissue paper I withdrew the cutest, fluffiest, little brown Teddy bear, that I’ve ever seen, and all decked out in pink ribbons. “She’s got two hearts Aunty Kathy” cried the youngest.
“Squeeze the arm Aunty Kathy,” the eldest chimed in. I did as asked and followed it up with tears of love as I heard the bear say in the voices of my girls, “We love you with all our hearts Aunty Kathy.” The bear also came with a birth certificate; They had named her Hope.
Read the rest of this entry »
My Mother Veronica Putman was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in April of last month. She has a rare type of breast cancer which is invasive. She has started to go for rounds of chemo and eventually she will have to go through radiation and surgery, she has an extremely long haul ahead. It has been really hard to see her life completey change, but she is the strongest person I know. Last week we went and got her a wig and she looks beautiful. I can honestly say I am more aware of breast cancer now because of her recent diagnosis. It has been very hard for me to see her so sick and I know now more than ever it’s important to give something back something of myself; to show my awareness and care for all the women like my mom suffering from this disease. This experience has already taught me so much, I am completely empowered to see her so strong and so beautiful, and hopeful.
My neighbors daughter and I have participated in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure for a few years now in honor of her Mom and my aunt. In the last 6 months we have lost these heroes however the battle continues. Thank goodness for mammograms as the cancer in my breast is at the most early stage. I have definitely gone through many emotions in the last month but from everything I have read positive energy can help.
After thinking and feeling that I wasn’t in control of my own body I thought of the thing that I can control and that is my attitude. With that in mind, I planted two window boxes on the garden shed, which my bedroom window overlooks. This is my visual reminder every morning as I pull up the blinds. I have planted pink flowers as a symbol of the breast cancer, yellow flowers as a symbol of hope and each box has only 2 blue flowers as there is no room for feeling blue. I am 3 days after surgery, awaiting my follow up appt and then will start radiation after that. I will use these window boxes as a constant reminder of never losing hope and not to let the blues in.