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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Tag : patient story

My Genetic Test Results Changed my Treatment Plans

Stacy Zelazny lives in a tiny town in Ontario, literally, she resides in a little-known place called Tiny, Ontario. Stacy describes herself as a mom of two amazing girls who is married to her best friend and winning the biggest fight of her life.

To the Girl Standing in The Blue Hospital Gown, Part 1

Well, the results are in.

Take a seat.

Take a deep breath.

It’s positive.

The Four Stages of My Stage Four MBC

One night in July 2015, I went to sleep, and everything was fine. When I woke up, it was obvious that everything was not fine. My left breast was swollen, inflamed and painful. I was shocked and worried but tried not to overreact. Then I started making excuses. Maybe my period was coming. Maybe it was cellulitis. Maybe it was a clogged milk duct. Maybe it was. Maybe it. Maybe …

I Know How I Want to Die

I know how I want to die. I want to be in my bed, wearing my favourite pair of black and white patterned, soft cotton pajamas. I’ll be tucked under my duvet, lying on my side with my head resting on top of the extra long, queen-sized and ridiculously expensive down feather pillow I serendipitously purchased right before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Softer than any pillow I’ve ever owned, it was worth it. After surgery and throughout treatment, my body smooshed into its feathery goodness like a hug. It protected my body parts that hurt and helped ease my stress into sleep. Like my two kitty-cats, it’s just something I won’t die without.

Radiation Prep. Three Tips You Need to Help You Feel in Control and to Support Yourself

Having radiation treatment is something you can never truly be emotionally ready for. At least I wasn’t. The doctors shared the basic need-to-know information, but the rest felt vague, unknown and definitely out of my control. Of course I Googled radiation treatment and what to expect, but again, something was missing. Where was the insider insight I desperately wanted? Rationally, I knew there would never be a guide tailored to my breast cancer experience, everyone experiences it differently as treatment is unique to your cancer and your body. But after the surgery, after I was told I had Stage 1 cancer, after my lump was sent to California for Oncotype DX testing to determine whether or not it would spread, have the likelihood of a recurrence and what my best treatment plan should be, it was my turn. And I always wished there was a checklist I could refer to or a step-by-step action plan I could walk to make my journey into the unknown a little better. There wasn’t, so I’m sharing what I’ve learned along the way so that if you need this insight or know someone else who may, it is here for you.

Tamoxifen’s One Perk: Not Having My Period

The only thing I miss about Tamoxifen is not getting my period.

Support. How to Give it, How to Get it

I finally caught up on my television viewing and watched the Friends Reunion show and the first two episodes of And Just Like That… Through the nostalgia, out-loud belly laughs and floods of tears (there were tons of each), one thought dominated: this is what support looks like. Sure, it was just TV, but if I could feel the connection and love through my 29-inch screen, then so can other people. I’m pretty sure that’s why these shows resonate. Support is survival. I need it and you do too, especially when you’re living with cancer, overcoming it, in the healing process, in remission or even know someone going through breast cancer. Asking for what you need though can be tough. We’re hardwired to put on a brave face or listen to whatever other crap messaging we tell ourselves we need to do. And it’s never worth it. So instead of being an island, try one or all of these suggestions to give and to get the support you deserve.

From Crisis to Opportunity

There is never a good time to get a breast cancer diagnosis. Our family was about to vacation in Australia when I got the news. Because I had been on a fitness kick in the months beforehand, I felt so healthy that I couldn’t believe anything was wrong, but it was. A grade two tumour and two affected lymph nodes meant that holiday plans had to make way for surgery.

Why Advocate For Breast Cancer, Especially if You’ve Been Diagnosed

I’m writing a different type of article because October is Canadian Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This article isn’t just about me or you. It’s for all of the women who are currently or yet to be diagnosed with breast cancer. So I need to be blunt.

Just Breathe

I was diagnosed in December 2019 at the age of 47. I was healthy, happy and at the height of my career.  Just as I said to my husband of 25 years “Life just can’t get any better”, our world came to a grinding halt - “you have breast cancer”.

My Breasts Are My Boobs

It’s safe to say I think about my breasts a lot. Wait. I just wrote breasts. Not boobs, tits, coconuts, gazongas or even The Girls. Breasts. Ugh. Having breast cancer has done this to me. It’s made me think of my boobs as breasts.

CBCN's Digital Storytelling and Advocacy Toolkit: Using Personal Storytelling for Advocacy

While there have been many advances made in the diagnosing, treatment and management of breast cancer, individuals diagnosed with or living with breast cancer still face issues that are not yet being addressed by the organizations and government bodies that serve them. In addition to this, the public is generally not aware of the day-to-day impacts of a breast cancer diagnosis on individuals and their families.

Stay Calm and Mentally Strong: Three Ways to Motivate, Inspire and Empower Yourself for Optimum Health

Tell me if any of this rings a bell…

The Beginning: Get up, find a lump, feel confused, panic inside, see the doctor, see a specialist, get a mammogram, see an oncologist, have an ultrasound, get an MRI, biopsy the lump, do it all over again and again and again, receive a breast cancer diagnosis, feel in shock, go home, make a plan, fall into bed and don’t fall asleep.