At Silver Icing, we really understand what it means to be a part of such a connected group of women, cheering one another on, and really being there for each other during the highs and lows that life throws at us.
October is breast cancer awareness month and through our Stories of Hope: Bras for a Cause Campaign, we are sharing stories of women who have been touched by this disease in some way. Many of these women rely heavily on a network of supportive women to get them through the toughest of times.
This week we are featuring the story of Sandy, an extremely courageous woman who won a fight and came out stronger on the other side. Sandy is one of many women who has leaned on a support system of other strong women to help walk her through her breast cancer journey.
Here is her story:
“Two months before my 40th birthday I was on holidays. I felt a small lump on my right breast and my lymph nodes were very sore. Upon returning home I went to my doctor worried that I caught an infection while traveling. She recommended a mammogram based on the location of my discomfort. During the mammogram, the technician asked me to stay, as they would like to perform an ultrasound on my left breast…confused, I said I was there for my right breast. She said all was clear on the right, but they would like to take a closer look at the left. The ultrasound revealed abnormalities and concerns of cancer cells present. I was in the surgeon’s office the next day and my biopsy was scheduled for the following week. I had 3 fine wires inserted for the biopsy and unfortunately all came back positive for cancer. Stage 3B is all I heard. My mastectomy was scheduled soon after the diagnosis and the outcome was not great.
All of my lymph nodes tested positive for cancer, which meant chemotherapy was next on my medical agenda. With chemotherapy I learned to relax and invite the drugs into my body and attack my cancer. My chemo was followed with 5 weeks of daily radiation. I had several reconstructive surgeries and a partial hysterectomy to help lower my hormone levels.
I have made peace with my scar. It reminds me of how precious life is and how lucky I am for every breathing moment.
I met some very special and inspirational women in the breast cancer circle. If there is a silver lining in all of this, it is that I have made some incredible friendships. We laugh at our cancer stories, we cheer each other up, we support each other and we know exactly what being faced with the fear of dying feels like. These women have a special place in my heart always.
If you are on this journey or are faced with this path in the future; please don’t give up hope! You will amaze yourself at how strong you really are. Try to find that hidden inner strength that we all have. That’s when we can handle the unthinkable. I also believe that survival is a team effort. Yes, I did the hard work but I believe I would not be here without the support of so many; my Community, my Mom, my Hockey Family, the Nurses and staff at the hospitals and my amazing Doctors to name a few who were in my corner.
I am thankful that my wonderful children inspired me every day to get out of bed. Their love was my rock. Words don’t describe how grateful I am for my best friend being by my side throughout all my treatments and surgeries. There are so many things that she sacrificed and organized to help with my support. She made me laugh and brought me up in the worst times. Undeniably I was so lucky to have her in my life and I still am.
11 years ago, my right healthy breast saved my life, by sending a message that something was wrong with my body. Please listen to your body! We all get so busy with life and ignore possible symptoms that may save our lives in the end. Hope, Strength, Fight – WIN!”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In support of women like Sandy, Silver Icing is raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society Breast Cancer Futures Fund. In an effort to support this very worthy cause, we are donating $10 from every Arabesque Bra sold throughout the month. Every dollar counts and we are hopeful about creating a future without breast cancer.