Last spring I decided to sign up for the Ride for Cancer to honour a friend that was recovering. The ride was full so I was on the list as an alternative.
Two weeks later, on June 4, 2021, I got the news the no one wants to get. It was a shock. I was active and healthy and other than a pesky low wheezing sound when I was lying down, I had no symptoms. But that didn't matter. I had cancer. Neuroendocrine cancer to be precise and it was in my right lung.
The next few weeks went by in blur with lots of tests. The cancer was at an early stage but because of the location, the recommended treatment was to remove the lower and middle lobes of my right lung. After a surreal summer, I had my surgery. ( I didn't make the 2021 ride!) The days and weeks following the surgery were tough and marked by small victories, like walking down the hospital corrider. However, if you know me, you know I am determined. For better (and it is not always a good thing), when I set a goal I push forward until I've met it.
My surgery was a success and while there have been a few hiccups along the way (I still have trouble reconciling that I had a heart attack two days post surgery), I am in a good place. I was fortunate to have an amazing medical team- my family doctor is the most amazing caring and diligent family doctor I could dream up, as well as a very talented surgeon, and now a great oncologist who understands the nuances of neuroendocrune cancer. I benefitted from the dedication, skill and compassion of so many wonderful, nurses, technicians and medical personnel.
In addition to the primary medical team, I also benefitted from a supportive family, amazing friends and wonderful colleagues. Words of encouragement, flowers, visits, walks, holding my hand, meals...so many gestures that all helped me get through this to the point where I am today. Cancer is gone. I'll need scans every six months for the indefinite future, but otherwise, all is good. As one friend told me, I was "lucky in my unluckiness."
Six months post surgery, I am making the most of the lungs I have left and I want to help the QEII. I didn't need chemo or radiation, but I know many that do. This year the 2022 Ride for Cancer, will help bring new radiation technology to Nova Scotia.
We never expect to need this kind of help, but when we do, it is good to know that the resources and expertise are here. Below you can read more about the radiation technology this year's Ride for Cancer will help fund. Thank you for your support.
What if we could reduce radiation treatments from 25 to five for certain cancers? Condense up to seven weeks of daily radiotherapy treatment sessions to just one week or less? When you support my ride today, we’re one step closer to making these bold aspirations a reality.
On Saturday, October 1, 2022, I’m riding alongside a community with one common goal: to transform local cancer care, by helping fund a world’s first cancer-fighting technology at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.
This year will be extraordinary…our BMO Ride for Cancer community is all in! With your support, we’ll help introduce a first-in-the-world cancer treatment option, called personalized radiotherapy. Pioneered and invented right here in Nova Scotia at the QEII, this technology has the potential to transform the radiation treatment journeys for Atlantic Canadians facing a cancer diagnosis.
World-leading innovation and inventions are exciting. But the real impact is on QEII patients, who will be the first in the world to access one of the most precise and targeted treatment options available; game-changing care that isn’t offered anywhere else in Canada.
Fewer radiation treatments, better cancer outcomes, reduced side effects, more time at home with family, and reduced financial burden on patients and the healthcare system are all benefits we will help make possible.
By supporting my ride, you are joining a community of champions who are funding the fight against cancer today and for future generations.
The QEII is Atlantic Canada’s largest, most specialized cancer centre, with a radiotherapy program that’s already one of the best in North America. With the support of donors like you, we’ll level up – truly elevating that best-in-class care to new heights, all in the name of cancer patients and their families. This world-leading project will be entirely donor-funded through BMO Ride for Cancer and the QEII Foundation. Now more than ever, we need your support to help make personalized radiotherapy a reality. Learn more about this year’s cause and impact here>.
Completed Profile Page
Shared Personal Page
Made a personal donation
Reached my fundraising goal!
Thank you to my Supporters
Michael & Julie Horrigan
Kristen Tynes Maceachern
John & Karen Flemming
Christine Gentleman Murphy
The Montreuil Family
Joan & Gerard Tompkins
Hayley And Dave