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My name is Maggie Lima-Machado, I am 37yrs.old and a breast cancer survivor… knock wood. At the 2009 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board OECTA-Trustee Public Speaking Awards, my 9yr.old daughter wrote and recited her speach about “The Person I Admire Most”.  She came in 2nd place/Silver Award and was youngest among her peers. Never have I been more proud, and was reminded of why I fought my cancer then, and continue to fight now.  So now I share my cancer story through the eyes of my child.

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For some people, breast cancer can be a hard lesson to swallow. There are those, however, who look on the bright side and  learn that it can help you find the courage to pursue your dreams. We hope you enjoy Laura’s story as much as we did!

Laura

Laura with her lovely locks all grown back

In ’03 when my kids were 11 & 7 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was 42 yrs, the picture of health running 10K a day/4-5 days a week with a healthy diet and happy outlook on life.  Lesson #1, cancer picks who it wants.

I didn’t feel ‘sick’ till the chemo.  When my hair started falling out I cut it all off, made some braids with my daughter and sewed them to my bandana.  My kids were afraid to see me bald, too much change for them and I looked sick to them with my bald head.  I wore this bandanna knowing people might be thinking ‘she’s a biker chick”, when I’m really a soccer mom.  I just didn’t want the stares of pity.

In doing this desperate act of recycling I’d unknowingly planted a seed for my future.  Lesson #2, necessity is the mother of…kooky head gear.

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Emily takes us on a philosophical journey as she remembers her Aunt Darquise.

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My aunt Darquise was my mom’s older sister. She always smiled and had a great laugh. And she was brave, because she went through a lot of tough stuff, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer. She did treatments for nearly two years until the cancer was finally gone, but it came back and she put up a good fight until the treatments stopped working.

Mom told me my aunt was afraid at first, but then she went to church for counseling, and the priest assured her everything was alright. My aunt died peacefully and quietly, knowing she was fine.

It doesn’t matter if heaven exists or not. Dying itself is just part of the natural recycling process of life. It works the same way a lot of things do. The leaves that fall from the trees shrivel and turn into soil, which allows for more plants to grow. The waves of the water flow in and out, We inhale, and then we exhale. Our bodies thrive and then pass away.

I love life when I remember it’s simplicity and it’s miraculous beauty.

By Emily Hunt

Where does one begin when fear overtakes logic? What is it about the word ‘cancer’ that invokes such negative feelings? Why me? Marilyn Abram shares with us the challenging questions that can arise when facing the diagnosis of breast cancer.

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I was diagnosed almost 18½ years ago with a small lump in my breast picked up by a mammogram. The doctor assured me that in 85% of the cases the lump would prove to be benign, but he recommended a lumpectomy. I went through the pre-op tests and a surgical date was arranged to extract the small lump. An appointment was made two weeks later for the diagnosis.

The day of reckoning came and I went rather confidently to the hospital feeling that nothing was out of the ordinary. When the doctor/surgeon read the pathological report he was concerned at what it revealed and wanted to go back in and check my lymph nodes. Read the rest of this entry »

Mike-and-Me

I have been a supporter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for three years since my aunt passed away from breast cancer in 2006.  I watched her fight for her life.  It was devastating to watch and harder to come to terms with.  I didn’t want other women or my family members to have to live with breast cancer.  I want a cure and if I can help in a small way, I will, from fundraising to awareness!

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