"In 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Follicular Lymphoma while training for a marathon. I was no stranger to cancer having lost my mother to gallbladder cancer in 2005. Soon after being diagnosed with a blood cancer, I was put on watch and wait and continued to train running my fifth marathon to keep my body strong and mind focused. In 2013, my watch and wait was over and I began chemotherapy treatment.
In spite of all of the challenges that I encountered during and after my treatment, I have a positive outlook and attitude. With various setbacks post treatment and with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis in 2017, I now live in what I call the “grey zone”. Meditation helps me manage pain and anxiety and allows me to listen to my body more intently. I am currently back on watch and wait. Through my blood cancer experience, I learned that everything happens for a reason and every event – whether positive or negative – gives everyone a chance to grow as an individual. I am happy I now have an opportunity to give back to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada by volunteering when I am physically able to do so. I am grateful to all those who fundraise and support people affected by a blood cancer and to those who have lifted my spirits along the way through their kindness.
I was honoured to be part of the Life after Cancer Advisory Committee and equally grateful to have had an opportunity to share my personal blood cancer story and what helped me throughout my experience."