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


Tag : breast cancer

I Am a Mother with Cancer

I am a metastatic breast cancer patient with liver and spine metastases. I am also a mom and a grandmother. One day, I felt a very hard pea-sized lump right under the skin. My family physician sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound. The radiologist came in and said he was concerned and brought me back the following day for a biopsy. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. I was petrified and scared. Since working at a cancer centre, I had every bad scenario going through my mind. I had a double mastectomy followed by four months of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiation. It was difficult losing my hair, feeling nauseous and weak but I was determined to beat this horrible disease.

Memory Blank: the Stupid Side of Tamoxifen, Chemo and Radiation

Is there anyone out there who feels like I do? Like they’ve lost a part of their memory to tamoxifen, chemotherapy and/or radiation and will never get it back? If you are like me, do you ever wonder where your memory went, like, is it on the beach in Puerto Vallarta or maybe it took a sabbatical and didn’t provide a return date?

A Mother and a Young Cancer Patient

I am 33-year-old woman from Alberta, Canada. I used to work in the oilfield until I had my son in September 2021. I used to be very independent, and an active dog mom to four dogs. I am now a proud mom of five dogs and one tiny human! I found a lump at two months postpartum but thought it was a blocked milk duct. It kept getting bigger, so I went in on February 28, 2022. I was sent to get an ultrasound and a mammogram on March 1st and 2nd. I was biopsied on March 4th, and my pathology report came back on March 21st. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma.

We Asked You About Chemotherapy Side Effects

Experiencing side effects from breast cancer treatment is a common occurrence for patients. While systemic chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy are effective treatments for breast cancer, learning to cope and live with their unwanted or unexpected side effects can be challenging. We reached out to breast cancer patients to hear about their experiences with this.

I Don’t Look Sick: My Life with MBC

I have advanced stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC). MBC is when breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Typically, it spreads to the bones, liver, lungs, and brain. There is currently no cure for MBC but there is treatment, and some women can live for many years.

What You Believe Will Be

Don’t curse me if this column sounds crazy. Or do. It’s up to you. But what I’m sharing in this column is true for me and it has changed my life for the good. Trust me, as a single woman who lives alone with her two cats, is constantly hustling to secure editorial work and hasn’t had a single decent “like” on Hinge in well over a year, I’m always looking for the positive. This is my honest-to-goodness M.O.

Adaptive Fashion for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer and its various treatments can change your body in many ways: weight gain or loss, tenderness, lymphedema (swelling in the limbs), partial or complete mastectomies, prosthetic breasts. This might mean that your old or favorite clothing may not fit, or fit properly any longer, and it can be difficult to find outfits that you can feel good in. It may be time to have a heart-to-heart with your closet, and explore some of the options for comfortable, adaptive clothing that can make you feel confident and excited about getting dressed again.

Lobular Breast Cancer: A Different Subtype

I was shocked to learn I had breast cancer. My previous mammograms had never showed anything. I noticed that one of my nipples was inverted which sent me to my family doctor. I was then referred to the Breast Health Clinic in Ottawa on an urgent basis where I had tests done and was informed I had advanced invasive lobular breast cancer.

Questions & Experts: A Lymphedema Therapist Answers Your Questions about Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema

In today’s post, we provide the questions that were sent in and asked during the live session of our Questions and Experts session held on February 20th, 2023. In this session, Certified Lymphedema Therapist Marize Ibrahim answers your questions about breast cancer-related lymphedema.

Breast Self-exams. Why you still need to do them even with a cancer diagnosis

Feel it on the first. Know your lemons. Check your boobies. Get in touch with them apples. I never noticed these catch phrases written on social media to inspire women to do monthly breast self-exams until after I was diagnosed. Well after too, like, when I was recovering from having had breast cancer surgery and treatment. Ironic, isn’t it? More ironic is the fact that I never really did regular breast self-examinations on my boobs and when I did, they were always half-hearted, like an afterthought.

Questions & Experts: A Clinical Psychologist Answers Your Questions About the Mental Health Impact of a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A breast cancer diagnosis comes with so many questions and there never seems to be enough time at appointments to have some of these questions answered. To help address this, we developed a "Q&E: Questions and Experts" series. In this series, a variety of experts spend the entire virtual session answering pre-submitted and live questions from participants. Watching the videos on-demand might be a little difficult to get through. So, we’ve created this guide to help you get right to the questions and answers that matter the most to you

3D Nipple and Areola Tattoos 101: All the Basics You Need to Know

A 3D nipple and/or areola tattoo is an optional last step following nipple reconstruction surgery or as an alternative to nipple reconstruction surgery. If you got a mastectomy and did not get a nipple-sparing mastectomy or nipple reconstruction surgery, then 3D tattooing uses dark and light pigments to create a 3D illusion of the areola(s) and the nipple(s). If a nipple reconstruction surgery was performed, then 3D tattooing would be used to create an areola and/or to enhance the reconstructed nipple.

Reason #4 That Cancer Still Sucks: Surgery Can’t Prevent Recurrence

 In this blog series, we present excerpts from Dr. David Stewart’s book A Short Primer on Why Cancer Still Sucks. The fourth reason that cancer still sucks is that it can recur in some patients even if it appears to have been removed completely by surgery. Surgery is not even an option for many patients. 

When Was the Last Time You Asked Yourself: Are You Okay?

I’ve been watching Harry & Meghan, the documentary series on Netflix. I’m not a royal’s buff or even a fan, well, except for Princess Diana (I thought she was great). No, I started watching the series for boredom’s sake, because I needed a new show. I figured that because I like docu-series and because I couldn’t watch what I really wanted to—the Kardashian’s new reality show because I don’t have Disney+—this was it. So, I clicked play and about five minutes into Episode 1, I was hooked.

I Only Wanted One Surgery, so I Chose AFC Reconstruction

This year 28,000 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer. On March 10th, 2022, I became one of those women. Disturbingly, within a month of my diagnosis, two more of my close friends received their breast cancer diagnoses. In total, I have 15 close friends and counting who are either breast cancer survivors, or who are currently battling breast cancer. This silent epidemic seems to be growing at an extraordinary pace.

Highlights From the 2022 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS)

The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) is the annual breast cancer conference that brings together researchers, clinicians, patients and manufacturers from all over the world to discuss the latest breast cancer research. Last December, we were pleased to be able to attend in-person, and we'd like to share with you the highlights from SABCS.

Our Top Blog Posts for 2022

The past year allowed us a return to a more normal routine in a lot of ways, and our blogs from 2022 reflect that. Posts about being able to gather for the holidays, get mastectomy tattoos, and having in-person healthcare visits were some of the topics of our top 10 blog posts from last year.

2022: Our Year in Review

CBCN connects patients, caregivers, health care professionals, researchers, public health agencies and industry stakeholders to improve knowledge translation and promote optimal health outcomes for Canadians with breast cancer. We do this through the promotion of information sharing, education, and advocacy activities. As we look forward to the new year, we would also like to look back on 2022 and share what CBCN has achieved on behalf of Canadian breast cancer patients, their loved ones, and caregivers.

Holiday Cheer?

Let me just start by saying, while writing, that I’m not a Grinch. I promise. That said, Christmas is not my favourite holiday. (Thanksgiving is, because it’s all about the gratitude, mashed potatoes and turkey.) Yet, after my breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment, the only place I wanted to be for the holidays was with my family in Calgary. Being single and dealing with breast cancer’s day-to-day stressors alone, by myself with my cat, was overwhelming. So, my post-cancer-treatment Christmas was probably one of the most stress-free I’ve ever experienced. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have to make one decision for a solid week, that my family loved on me or because I didn’t cook a single meal, I don’t know. But it worked and when I returned to Toronto, despite the brain fog and Tamoxifen madness, I felt lighter.

Humour in Times of Crisis pt. 2 - Excerpts from Angel in the Marble

The minute you get a cancer diagnosis, you start looking for the magic cure. For me, this meant researching the hell out of the disease and revamping my lifestyle, exercise regime, spiritual practice, and diet. Within days, I knew the latest cancer breakthroughs and snake oil salesman’s remedy for the problem. And I took on the task of miraculous cure (and possible canonization) with a vengeance. Turmeric was the new gold standard. I popped four pills a day and drank Indian golden milk and turmeric lemon tea morning, noon, and night. My skin oozed Trumpian orange, my countertops glowed with permanent yellow stains, and man, did I feel good. I knocked back shots of apple cider vinegar chased by pomegranate juice. I downed hemp hearts, chia, flax, and bee pollen. My daughter Sonja arrived one day with the Holy Grail—a Vitamix— and it became my cauldron, a sacred vessel for preparing healing concoctions laced with kale, ginger, blueberries, and coconut water.