Image by Brooke Cagle

I had quit my career two weeks prior to my diagnosis and the financial burden was significant. I am also single, and I live in Toronto, which is one of the most expensive cities in Canada to live in. To add more complexity to the situation, since 2017 my dad has been living with metastatic cancer and I am his primary caregiver.  

The road to recovery and the financial burden that comes with being sick for this period of time was very difficult.  The funds provided by Breast Cancer Support Fund helped to cover essentials like – food,  hydro and rent.   COVID has also has made things challenging and I am currently waiting to do another surgery.

 

One of the silver linings about getting cancer is the connection to an incredible community of people and programs like the Breast Cancer Support Fund to help ease the financial burden that accompanies illness.

 

From my experience with breast cancer, I learned to face mortality and got clear on what was important to me at an early age. Fortunately, the outcome of my treatment was the best news I could have hoped for and I feel as though I have been blessed with a second chance, with incredible perspective.

 

My medical surgeon was an incredible human both caring and competent and my plastic surgeon restored my confidence. One of the most important healthcare professionals is my therapist who has helped me transform my cancer experience into a positive one.

 

One of the silver linings from my cancer experience is I have way more joy in life than I ever could have accessed. Cancer changed me and my perspective. I am now much more present in my life, with others and the new work I am doing has a lot of meaning.

 

 

I read a lot during treatment, here were some highlights

 

  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron (All her books are incredible)

  • Happier and The Pursuit of Perfect by Tal Ben-Shahar

  • Tuesday’s with Morrie, Mitch Albom

  • Staring into the Sun, Irvin Yalom

  • Momma and the Meaning of Life, Irvin Yalom

  • Joan Didon, The Year of Magical Thinking

  • When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi (exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis).

  • Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl

  • Resilience: A Story of Courage and Triumph in the Face of Recurrent Cancer, Susan Wener

  • Emperor of all Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee

  • Still Alice, Lisa Genova