Let It Shine!
Lizanne and I have worked together since November 2010. We quickly became good friends and, along with a couple of other coworkers, started socializing outside of work; going on weekend spa getaways and celebrating holidays and birthdays together. I had to think hard about when we started being friends because honestly it feels like we've known each other forever!
Earlier this year I noticed that Lizanne wasn't eating her usual salad for lunch and she said she just wasn't feeling good and every time she ate she felt nauseous. After a few days of feeling this way, she consulted her doctor and then the tests began. And not long after that she told me that she had ovarian cancer. My heart sank and I still tear up and get a lump in my throat when I think about her telling me that news. I felt very helpless and began praying for a miracle for her.
At the same time, I started reading to get more information of what the statistics were, and what Lizanne's journey might be like. It struck me that this was a cancer that didn't have a test like other cancers, and that there is a lot of work to be done in the way of research to not only find a cure, but also to develop tests for early detection. One of the reasons that the survival rate of ovarian cancer is lower than other cancers is that it simply doesn't get detected early enough.
Lizanne began her six chemo treatments, three weeks apart, and a surgery date was to be determined once treatment was underway. After the first chemo treatment, she had some tough days, and then would feel a bit better. But then she began losing her hair. Her husband, Brian, shaved her head and now they're a matching pair (he has a gloriously bald head too!). And in all of this, Lizanne kept her sense of humour and practical approach to life. She did a headgear fashion show via Zoom for all of us friends so we could choose our favourite one...that was fun and we had some good laughs! Lizanne had her surgery in mid June and will have three more chemo treatments after that. Things are going well so far!
I want to shave my head to raise funds in support of ovarian cancer because I want Lizanne to know that I'm there for her every step of the way. She didn't get a choice about losing her hair, so I'm choosing to shave my head as a symbolic gesture that I'm standing with her at this time. I want to be part of raising funds to find a test for early detection, to raise awareness through education, and to ultimately find a cure.
On Thursday, I shaved my head completely! A few days in, I'm still surprised when I look in the mirror. I am overwhelmed by everyone's generosity of donations and love that we have received...thank you from the bottom of my heart! We have raised just over $20,000 and the donations continue to come in! I am so happy that not only has this shown Lizanne how much she is loved and supported, but that we could raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Canada to do the good work they do in research, education and supporting women with ovarian cancer!
Most of us have been touched by cancer either through our own journey or that of someone we love. If you would like to support Lizanne and Ovarian Cancer Canada, please donate to "Let it Shine"!
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