I was diagnosed with a high grade, hormone positive, invasive ductile carcinoma in January 2020. This life changing diagnosis occurred exactly forty days after my fortieth birthday when I was at least ten years away from standard breast cancer screening.
At the start of this journey, I will admit, I had a somewhat distorted view of what it meant to have cancer. My only reference points were what I saw on TV, and in the movies. I also had, the very distant memory of my grandmother dying from breast cancer when I was 8 years old.
I expect that I am similar to most women who are diagnosed with cancer. While we are terrified of what we are about to face, we are also resolved to face the disease, and subsequent treatments, with grace. You quickly learn how to minimize your pain and suffering to protect your family, but they still bear witness to every perilous step of your journey.
I opted to have a bilateral mastectomy and was a candidate for immediate reconstruction. The aggressiveness of the cancer, my age, my family history, and the results from my genetic testing made me fearful of recurrence. The isolation of living with a cancer diagnosis was further amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. Making a connection with Jen early into my journey made all the difference. Remember to check out Our Story and Our Blog to learn more about our friendship and cancer experience!
Marcia is a multi-talented business leader with 16 years of senior leadership experience with a major Canadian Bank. She is a strategic problem solver who excels in change management through innovation and resourcefulness. Marcia has exceptional business acumen with key expertise in banking, finance, and human resources.
I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma in January of 2020. My tumour was so large I thought it was my breast. While my cancer diagnosis came as a shock, I was no stranger to cancer since I had spent 2019 watching my mom battle breast cancer. I faced my diagnosis head on and told myself that if my mom could beat cancer, so could I.
What rocked my world and brought me to my knees was not that I had cancer, but rather that I would need a total mastectomy due to the size of my tumour. Being faced with losing the breast that had cancer and then making the decision to either keep or remove my healthy breast was a devastating choice to make.
The world doesn't stop for a cancer diagnosis, and the chaos that cancer was causing in my home was being mirrored in the world at large. While I was facing my cancer diagnosis and making surgical decisions, Covid-19 was spreading and everyone was faced with an unprecedented situation. This would alter the course of my journey, care, and treatment. But it would also cause the most amazing connection that would sustain me on my cancer journey. Having Marcia to share this journey has meant everything to me. Remember to check out Our Story and Our Blog to learn more about our friendship and cancer experience!
Jen is passionate about forming meaningful connections and relationships while helping others. She has over 20 years experience working with a not-for-profit organization and significantly contributed to its overall growth and stability. Jen also has experience as an entrepreneur, where she is focused on efficiency optimization. In addition to her professional pursuits, Jen also has over 10 years experience as a learning facilitator.