I was washing my hair and just soaping up when I felt something. And it wasn’t a small thing, it was a big something. My first tumor that was found was two by three centimeters. It was really huge. It was my family doctor that told me, and I couldn’t believe what she was saying. And I thought to myself: ‘I don’t have time to have cancer.’
I think one of the hardest things about the diagnosis was that I had two little kids… one who wasn’t even a year old, and one that was only five or six at the time. Just thinking about what their lives would look like if I wasn’t here, and thinking about the life I wanted for them, and not knowing if they would have it was really hard.
I first learned about InspireHealth from my acupuncturist. I showed up at the Kelowna Centre and I’m so glad I did. It was amazing. They offered support for both the physical and emotional aspects of cancer. The first time I saw one of the counsellors at InspireHealth was to talk about how I was going to tell my son about my cancer. I didn’t want him to be worried at all.
I had my double mastectomy two days before everything shut down from COVID. I came home from the hospital to two kids who weren’t in school for the next six months. And at the time, I could barely even raise my hand to get a tea mug out of my cupboard.
The first group exercise classes I did at InspireHealth were virtual and they were the lowest impact. They helped me get my range of motion back. All of a sudden it became easier to reach for that mug. Those classes were like a godsend. I also met with a wonderful dietitian and that was a big help.
I had all the cancer treatments – surgeries, chemo, radiation and drug therapy. At some point I had treatment fatigue and that’s when I saw one of the physicians at InspireHealth. She spent the time with me to understand my values. She helped to reframe all the treatments and that gave me the willingness to continue with them. Unfortunately, that’s what’s sometimes missing from the medical system. They see a disease and they treat it, but they don’t always see a person who has feelings about the treatments that they’re going through.
It is a shift when you’ve gone through this major and traumatic thing to go back to normal life. So even now, it’s nice to know that InspireHealth is here for me. I want people to know that when they get diagnosed with cancer, they have the power to change the course of their journey through the programs and services at InspireHealth.
If you have a cancer diagnosis, go to InspireHealth. They will help you get the support you need.
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