There are so many faces to cancer.
Tired, hopeful, scared, confused, sad, determined.
And in honour of W O R L D C A N C E R D A Y, here are a few of my faces from the past 554 days since my diagnosis.
🖤 Dec 2018 - four months into chemo.
I had tunnel vision here. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. And I had my eye on the prize, which was to not let chemo (or cancer) kick my ass. And I’m pretty sure I won that war! So much so in fact, that I think I looked and felt better here, mid chemo, than I do now 11 months post chemo.🤷🏻♀️
🖤 Feb 2018 - five and a half months into chemo.
I hesitated sharing this one. Very few people saw me without my beanie on. I was surprisingly very self-conscious about the bald head. I definitely didn’t embrace it. But when my childhood besties came to spend my birthday weekend with me, I knew there was no way I could suffer through three days of hot flashes without taking the damned hat off.
And they were so awesome. They didn’t make a big deal out of it at all. And looking back now, I realize that it probably wasn’t as big a deal as I made it out to be.
But one of them snapped this pic of me napping after an afternoon out and about. I didn’t even know she’d taken it until she showed me this summer. And I’m glad she did because it’s the one and only photo that I have like this.
🖤 May 2018 - infusion day.
I’d finished chemo by then, but still had (and have) to head in to PMH every three weeks for Herceptin & Perjeta (hormone blocking) infusions, which are administered through a port-a-cath in my chest, as you can see here.
🖤 Today on my way home after an Expressive Art Therapy class at Wellspring Cancer Support Center.
I have amazing friends and family, but I’ve come to realize that sometimes it’s more comforting to be around people who are going through the same shit that I’m going through. Even though they’re complete strangers, they get it the way that no one else does.
Two years ago World Cancer Day wouldn’t have even been on my radar. It's crazy how quickly things can change.
And I think that kind of naivete is natural. I mean why think about cancer if you don't have to, right?
But here's the thing. Cancer doesn't discriminate. It doesn't give a shit what you've got going on. And while I hope that no one reading this is ever touched by cancer, I need it to be on your radar!
I'm living with stage IV metastatic breast cancer, and we have a long way to go in raising the awareness that's needed for this disease.
And while there are a lot of incredible charities and organizations out there raising awareness for breast cancer, there's one in particular that focuses a lot of their time, funding and energy on metastatic cancer ... and that is Rethink Breast Cancer. This is an incredible (Canadian based) organization that supports young women who are living with this disease.
So for any of you who want to help, but don't know how, you can donate to the Rethink MBC fund (here). That will help more than you could ever know!