Despite Michelle’s tumour’s small size, its cancer cells had spread through not one but throughout both of her breasts. She required immediate and urgent care.
“When I realized I was diagnosed at an advanced stage, my whole life turned upside down,” says Michelle. “I was scared, but I knew I had to fight it and to survive for my kids”
The mother of two young children, wife and sibling to five sisters was fortunate to have a large, immediate and built-in support system rallying behind her every day. But by early 2017, after two surgeries, three-and-half weeks of chemotherapy, two mammograms and two ultrasounds, the impact of her disease took its toll.
Emotionally and physically exhausted, Michelle felt too weak to continue working, something she had taken pride in being able to maintain this far into her cancer journey. But enough was enough and she left her job. Now, without reliable and steady income, Michelle’s family was on shaky ground, forcing her to look for new avenues of financial support.
“All my treatments and medication were covered by provincial health insurance, but I knew I would need some extra support to pay the everyday bills,” says Michelle. After searching online she discovered the Breast Cancer Support Fund and filled out and submitted an application. “I was on cloud nine when I was approved. It was a big help.”
With encouragement from her family’s encouragement to have breast reconstruction surgery. But because the process often involves more than one operation and a doctor-recommended minimum of four weeks recovery time, Michelle was reluctant to move forward. “It meant taking more time off work,” explains Michelle. “But with the Breast Cancer Support Fund helping pay for my basic bills, I was able to take that extra time.”
Today, Michelle has had the reconstruction surgery and is cancer free. She is also a warrior who is grateful that she chose to fight. “I wanted to see my kids grow up, get married and have kids. I could have missed it all,” she says. “The funds from the Breast Cancer Support Fund were a blessing and it made a big difference in my life. It added to my strength to fight.”