On a Personal Note - My Story in a Nutshell
Nearly four years ago, I stood in front of my class at the Barrie Learning Centre, and told my students I had a doctor's appointment the next morning, but I would be back by noon. I had every intention my appointment would be short and sweet. And I did not want to leave my students - I felt they needed me.
I did not return. Instead, I went home with my husband to tell my children that I had Stage 4 Ovarian cancer and that I would need chemo treatments before anyone knew whether I would be able to receive further care/ treatment. As you can imagine, this news was devestating. I had no idea that I was even sick. The only thing I knew was that it hurt when I sneezed or coughed. Who knew that a pain just under my rib cage was related to my ovaries?
That I am still alive today is a miracle. A miracle that was helped by the amazing medical and personal attention I received. I have been through 17 chemo treatments, major surgery, and continue to take oral chemo-therapy (a designer drug known as Lynparza). Not only did cancer take its toll on my body, my family and friends, and my career, but it also took its toll on my emotional health. I have worked hard to continue to be the best I can be and enjoy the quality of life - and hope - that I have been granted. I am grateful for every day I have.
I am one of a few lucky women who have lived. Ovarian cancer is not one that can be anticipated, nor is there any way to screen for it. Since I am BRCA positive, there is a chance one, or all, of my three children could have the gene. And I cannot simply do nothing.
Hence, I am trying to make a difference. I want other individuals to have a fighting chance at survival and quality of life.
Walking in this Walk of Hope and raising funds to support ovarian cancer research is my first shot at "giving back". I would love, one day, to return to teaching. Until then, I will continue to do what I can do to help others. And right now - the way I can help is to Walk for Hope. I hope you will walk with me, beside me, and for me.
Love you all!
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