12 inches of hair donated…

My whole idea of cutting my hair started when my aunt told me she had to get a biopsy of the lump on her breast. Those words are dreadful to hear, my aunt, she’s not old enough to get breast cancer. When she was diagnosed my world shifted, my aunt is my inspiration. She is my motivator for everything I do in life. Now I have to be her motivator to get her though this as a team and united as a family. The day I cut my hair was the most proud moment of my life; I have always had long hair. As I sat in the chair my hair dresser was braiding my hair to cut it off. All I thought about was my aunt and the fact that this was such a little thing with such a huge impact on an other person’s life making their treatments just a little easier. The emotions I felt were proud and happy, I was so happy that I did this.

Niece Lora Wahamaa, recently donated 12 inches of her hair through Nils Hair Centre, New Sudbury Shopping Centre, Louise Boschetto  705-566-1457.  Hair is collected and sent to Continental Hair, who make wigs for various hair loss conditions.  The hair needs to be 10 inches or longer.  Thank you to Nils and thank you to you LORA!  I love you, xoxo

I always believed in mind over matter…

Hello my name is Dee. On Feb. 2009 at the age of 52 I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. The largest tumor was 2.8 cm. My mastectomy was scheduled for Feb. 23, my left breast was removed along with 18 lymph nodes which 12 were cancer positive. my cancer was staged at 3/c with 20 % chance of survival with chemo and radiation. I had been through horror before so this was just another challenge for me. In 2001, I left my abusive husband of 25 years to start a new life for myself. In July 2003, I was in a serious motorcycle accident which left my boyfriend dead and me with 70% of my bones shattered along with other numerous injuries.
ICU told my family I would never survive and when I did they said I would never walk. Well I am stubborn and was determined to prove the doctors wrong.
In 2007, I met a wonderful man whom I married. In Sept 2008, we decided to leave southern Ontario and relocate to the French River and start a new life.  It was then I felt a lump in my breast, but I ignored it. The lump grew larger, harder and sore. In Jan. 2009 I went to the breast screening clinic in Sudbury and the rest unfolded. Things where going so fast I had little time to think. After the mastectomy I was scheduled for 6 rounds of chemo and 40 radiation treatments. The chemo went well until the 4th round which landed me in ICU with blood clots on my lung. I was released week later with a script for blood thinners for the next 6 months. I lost every hair on my body and yes even down there. All my nails fell off along with the skin on the palm of my hands and the bottom of my feet. I hung in because I always believed in mind over matter and this cancer didn’t matter. I was going to live!  I went through 38 rounds of radiation but the treatment was stopped because I had 2nd degree burns on my chest and back. The hardest part for me was being 1000 km from my family and friends.   I’m thankful I have a wonderful and caring husband who stood by me. However it appears I have a date with the devil again on Aug. 29 for a biopsy of the cervix. fingers crossed and spirits high. Bless all that are going through treatment and all that have survived. I’ve always believed that it’s not the destination in life, it’s the journey.  During treatment I did compose some poetry. Here is one of my poems…
It’s not enough to say your alive

It’s the quality of your life that counts
Like the weather I have sunny days and cloudy ones
I live as well as I can and worry about as little as I can
I smile when I feel like crying
I laugh when I feel like dying
But not a day goes by that I don’t think about my cancer
Love Mom
I followed up with Dee, here is her response since her appointment on August 29th.
My poker game with devil went well. He had 4 aces and I beat him with a royal flush. The doctor said there was no visable signs of cancer. The samples where sent to the lab for testing. The worst possible outcome would be cancer and if so, it would be in a treatable stage.
Again I will say it’s mind over matter and I was determined to overcome this obstacle. All who are going through this, you must keep your head up and think positive, because it’s the only way to overcome. Take each day as it comes and enjoy every minute of it. Never let the Doctors get you down. All of these tests and surgeries can become overwhelming, but you must hang in there. Be strong.

How I was going to tell Mom…especially at Christmas

My name is Marianne LaBerge and I am a breast cancer survivor.  I was diagnosed at the age of 53 with stage 1 breast cancer in December 2010 through a routine mammogram.  I did not have any symptoms, no pain or lump.  There is no one in my family who has had breast cancer.  I got plenty of exercise and my diet was healthy, though as a vegetarian my friends might say it was bland and lacking a good steak!  In short, I thought I took care of myself.

It’s funny how everything grinds to a halt when you are facing your own mortality.  I wondered how I was going to tell my mother, especially at Christmas time.  I wondered if I would live or be healthy enough to see my niece get married in March of the following year.  I wondered if I would ever simply enjoy fishing again with my husband and my two dogs.  I wondered what would happen to my son.   Those first few weeks were very difficult. 

But I am one of the lucky ones.  My cancer was caught in the very early stages so chemotherapy was not required.  I had a lumpectomy and radiation treatments.  There was no cancer in my lymph nodes.  Just recently I passed my two year milestone of being in remission.  I’ve had a few minor set backs (blood clots) but those were a side effect of my medication which was quickly changed. I am living proof that breast cancer is not a death sentence.  Had it not been for a routine mammogram, who knows where I’d be today.  It’s why all the fund-raising and awareness campaigns are so important.  I owe my life to the wonderful doctors and nurses at our own Northern Cancer Centre and I’m happy to support them in any way I can. Here are so me photos.  One is me standing with my two nephews at my niece’s wedding.  The second a picture of me fishing off Manitoulin Island. 

Lastly, my niece Sarah Wilde wrote a poem about breast cancer which I’d like to share.  She was 15 yrs old when she wrote it.

The Pink Ribbon

I sat here in my room

Thinking of her

Wondering what it would have been like

If I found a cure

I tried not to look on my desk

Where there was a ribbon

Wrapped around a teddy bear

She was given

I gave them all my money I had

Every cent that showed

But even it wasn’t enough

So I looked for more “dough”

I wished that it was enough

To save her

Or the other people too

So they all wouldn’t suffer

I wanted it to be enough

So I could save her

And I would of changed the world

If I found a cure