“Cancer is not a death sentence”
I have been a cancer survivor three times since 1981. Having a family history of cancer, I survived breast cancer twice and colon cancer at the age of 58 and underwent radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery with a colostomy bag.
I have been attending CANSA Relay For Life since 2008 and enjoy the Luminaria ceremony the most because it is important to remember those who have not survived. Cancer not only affects the survivor but the whole family and all of the friends of the survivor. We must remember that and celebrate them as well as the survivor.
I stayed at the CANSA Care Home while I was undergoing radiation treatment and the staff gave me all of the information I needed about the colostomy bag and taught me about my diet while having the bag. I also rented a wig from them.
I would like to create more awareness at schools and teach the children about the dangers of smoking and teach the girls at school how to do self-breast examinations. Children should also be made aware of the damage by sun exposure and what it does to their skin in their adult life.
Sharing my story is very important to me as I can teach people that cancer is not a death sentence, it is an illness.