I had been training for seven months for the Canadian National Dragon Boat Team. I was very fit and feeling great. However, in May 2021 when I had an unexpected pain in my pectoral muscles, I discovered a lump. I saw my doctor the next day, and she immediately booked a mammogram and x-ray, followed by an ultrasound and biopsy. It was confirmed that I had stage 2, triple-negative breast cancer. I started my chemo treatment on June 25, 2021.
My husband Rob was away on deployment, and his Commanding Officer allowed him to return home three months early to be with me during this journey.
I went through four months of chemotherapy followed by a lumpectomy, radiation treatments, and further oral chemotherapy which ends September 2022.
An Ongoing Journey
The most difficult part of my journey was losing my hair 14 days after I began chemotherapy. Despite all the tests and confirmations from doctors, it was at this moment I realized the breast cancer was real. There were times when I got so exhausted after paddling practice, and there were many weeks during chemo treatment that I couldn’t get off the couch.
Last fall Rob’s cousin, Rollie, asked if we wanted to volunteer to plant daffodil bulbs at the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors. My heart was full as my husband and I helped plant hundreds of bulbs for the garden. We were grateful to see the thousands of daffodils bloom the next spring. It was stunning and heartfelt!
This experience and visiting the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors will forever be with me. It gave me hope, inspiration, a feeling of not being alone, and support and love from the volunteers and community of Dartmouth. Thank you Judie and Jim for making your dream a reality for everyone to enjoy, and thank you Rollie for inviting us to help out and for the wonderful memories we’ll cherish. ❤️