By continuing to use our site, you consent to the processing of cookies, user data (location information, type and version of the OS, the type and version of the browser, the type of device and the resolution of its screen, the source of where the user came from, from which site or for what advertisement, language OS and Browser, which pages are opened and to which buttons the user presses, ip-address) for the purpose of site functioning, retargeting and statistical surveys and reviews. If you do not want your data to be processed, please leave the site.

The Voice of People With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Category : Stories

Dense Breast Tissue and Lobular Cancer - Doubly Hard to Diagnose

I had mild tingling breast pain for about five years. I am not a "run to the doctor" kind of person as I never wanted to be a burden on the health care system. I have always been sporty and active and was motivated to maintain my outdoorsy lifestyle. Even my GP congratulated me on doing all the right things. The pain was getting worse; however, my doctor assured me that both a mammogram and an ultrasound confirmed I did not have cancer. I was speechless because I knew something was wrong.

Younger Women and Breast Cancer Care Equity

The spending justifications for girl math are funny. But they just aren’t real. And oddly, this type of rationalization reminds me of how many doctors dismiss younger women when they believe that they have breast cancer. I know this because it happened to me. This is how I see girl math being applied to breast cancer.

Facing fear, choosing courage, and supporting others

I grew up as the daughter of a mother who battled lymphoma for 10 grueling years, only to be taken away by leukemia in the end. As a teenager, I accompanied her through this harrowing journey, unaware that I was accumulating PTSD along the way. Health and wellness became my fixation, a supposed guarantee against cancer. But this obsession was rooted in fear – fear so profound that I avoided having children, terrified of subjecting them to the horrors I witnessed with my mother's treatments.

Oncofertilty: What it means and more importantly, what are your options

“Are you going to freeze your eggs?” I was asked this question multiple times when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  Yes, I still had my monthly period and no, I wasn’t in menopause. But I was 47 years old, so the query felt out of place. When I’d remind the doctors of my age they’d sigh and say, “Oh, right. You look younger. So do you think it’s something you’ll want to do?” Umm, no. A hard no. Divorced, single and edging towards 50, starting a family by myself was not something I wanted.

Navigating Life's Tough Challenges: Building Resilience in the Face of Adversity

When I received the news that I had breast cancer, my world seemed to crumble before my eyes. Overwhelmed, vulnerable, and defenseless, I faced a daunting journey ahead. As a seasoned business owner, I had encountered my fair share of adversity, but nothing could prepare me for this level of fear. For the first time, I found myself fearing the unknown, dreading the loss of everything: my health, my quality of life, my business, and all my assets. How could I possibly endure this?

Anxiety, PTSD and Depression: How to manage the emotional side of breast cancer

For me, hearing these words felt like I was falling into a deep pit that I had no way of crawling out of. My diagnosis wasn’t something I could negotiate or talk my way out of either—two things I am fairly good at. This lack of control and inability to change my situation hit me hard. I had to accept that cancer was my new reality, and this filled me with fear. The feelings that followed oscillated between depression and anxiety—and they weren’t fleeting.

For Lorraine’s Sake

Our mother had breast cancer in her 50s, which increased her two daughters’ risk of also developing breast cancer. In 2005, my sister, Lorraine Smith, who was 41, enrolled in an early detection program and had her first mammogram. At the time, mammography reports were not disclosed to the patients, and they were not told anything about the density of their breasts, and what it means.

Single and Breast Cancer? You may be on your own, but you don’t have to go through it alone

I was single when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Freshly divorced too. I’m still single, because let’s be honest, I’m insecure about what my right boob and armpit now look like, never mind the fact that I’m still carrying 40 pounds of Tamoxifen weight. So, when I think about the idea of being naked in front of another human being, it makes me want to run upstairs into my bedroom, rip open my dresser drawers, pull out and put on every single pair of big panties, sweatpants and baggy sweatshirts I own all at the same time. But that’s the easy part. The emotional stuff is harder.

Can You Prevent a Breast Cancer Recurrence? No. But There Are Six Steps You Can Take That Can Help

Man, I’d be rich if I was a scientist and discovered a way to prevent a breast cancer recurrence. But I’m not. Instead, I’m a normal woman who is often riddled with worry that I’ll one day have one. I’m not thinking about this 24/7, but I am thinking about a potential recurrence often enough that the thought is a constant in my life, lurking in the back of my brain. It’s normal, I had breast cancer, I could have it again. These nagging thoughts always seem to resurface and escalate right before I’m scheduled to see my doctors for a mammogram or ultra-sound screening. And so, because I’ve been counting down the days until my next breast cancer-screening appointment, I’m having them now.

Navigating Emotions, Identities, and Finding Hope

Colleen Packer of Calgary felt a wide range of emotions when she was diagnosed with metastatic lobular breast cancer in 2019: “Shock. Frustration. Fear. Grief. I sobbed. Initially in that first year, it had a really huge impact. Now it has become more routine. Now I feel a lot more in control. It’s a strange mix of feelings to have. It’s both/and. It’s possible to feel happy and sad, angry, grateful, afraid, and confident all at the same time. All those feelings are valid, and you need to provide space for all those feelings because they’re all very much a part of the experience.