Today, 565 Canadians will hear the words, "You have cancer." I think that that is a lot of people....and for these people---our friends, loved ones and neighbours---today may be the most challenging days of their lives.
On January 15th, I had a Doctor's appointment and I heard those words. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Did you know that 50% of people in Canada will get cancer? I didn't know that until a few weeks ago, and I think that is a mind boggling statistic. It's not that I ever thought that I was immune, but I come from a long line of heart and stroke people....not cancer. That being said, I have one sister and two cousins who have had breast cancer....all of them between the ages of 46-49. As my cousin who called me the other night said to me, "You're kind of late to the party!" And she's right, because I'm 57, almost 58. This is actually a good thing, because my breast cancer was caught on a routine mammogram, it was only 9 mm which is considered small, and I am post-menopausal. I was given a 95% survival rate, and having surgery three days after my diagnosis gave me absolutely no time to get worried or panicked. But like I tell everyone, God and I have this. We have from the beginning. I'm going to be fine....I'm not looking forward to the radiation treatments which are forthcoming, but the one thing that I know is that I have an amazing support system. I have had too many offers of help to even count, and it will all work out. I have my follow-up appointment with my oncologist/surgeon tomorrow and that's when I will find out more. In the past two and a half weeks, my job has been to heal and get ready for the next step.....and I have been doing a great job of that. I have appreciated all the visits, kind words, prayers, cards and flowers, and especially the calls and texts. I am loved. And I know it sometimes takes a crisis to bring out the best in people, but I have been on the receiving end of so much kindness and compassion. I cannot express how grateful I am. And Hubby too, he's especially enjoyed all of the meals...he's never been one to cook....it's not that he can't, it's just not his thing.
So today on World Cancer Day, thanks to everyone who gives a helping hand. I have always been a helper, and now I have become one of the helped. I have been told that BC has one of the best cancer agencies in the world and from my experience so far, I just have to agree.