Don R, London ON - Diagnosis: NHL dlbc,stage 4                                     It has been 1 year today since I was in bed rubbing my chest when i notice a large lump that had developed in less than 10 hours. After 6 months of chemo and a month of radiation, the lymphoma had made its way to my liver,which was a suprise to my hemotoligist. But no matter what the news was I always try to stay positive,with a lot of laughter. I have a loving wife Annette and 3 boys who have all helped me deal with this bump in the road. I found that focusing on my family and not the cancer helped all of us. I teased the chemo nurses every day and threatened them that some day I will be back as a volunteer in the chemo suite helping others like myself. People talk about their bucket list, I told them my bucket is full. I am not concerned with what I havent done in my life ...I am celebrating my life with all my family & friends. Let me finish by saying thanks to all who were there when we cried, but a special THANK YOU to ALL who made me smile and laugh the day away...my bucket is overflowing with joy. I pray that all who fight cancer will find grace and peace with themselves, family and friends. Celebrate Life.


Lisa K, Niagara Falls ON - Diagnosis: Ependymoma                           After a tragic incident,  I was air lifted to a local hospital and there it was discovered that I had a brain tumour. Wrapped around my brain stem, the moma was tenacious about not letting go. Several treatments later and a "I am living with NOT dying of" cancer mind set, I am going strong and will continue to do so. There is hope and hope is what brings us home every day to our families. My wedding picture on March 2004 is attached.
 


Peter O, Fenelon Falls ON - Diagnosis: Renal Cell Cancer
I had a nagging soreness in my abdomen, not bad..just there. I reluctantly, decided to get it checked out, and it turned out to be a mass on my kidney. LESSON: If you suspect something.. don't wait. Deal with it.  It's now been 4 years after the surgery - and all clear. I stayed hopeful. I heard from friends that had a kidney removed - one friend walked me through EXACLTY what I experienced. I was prepared. Don't let the word scare you! It's because these people were survivors, these people made such a difference for me. Read the book "Cancer is a word.. not a sentence" it really helped. Stay positive - it can be beaten.
 


Mel F, Oakville ON - Diagnosis: Metastatic Colon Cancer                         I believe that involving your family, seeking the best help you can find, having a positive attitude, keeping as fit as possible and advocating for yourself all are critical components of confronting cancer. Four surgeries, chemo, radiation, etc have allowed me to continue to travel, golf, garden, play with eleven grandchildren and jog half marathons. Life is good and I am very lucky.


 


Rose K, St.John's NL - Diagnosis: Lymphoma
I found a lump in my neck three years ago and was diagnosed with Lymphoma.  I am still in the "wait and see" stage..and absolutely terrified but it hasn't changed my lifestyle. I cherish everyday and have great support.

 

 


John C, Burlington ON - Diagnosis: Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Skin Cancer
When I was young, I was a heavy smoker and a sun worshiper. Back then, who knew?? In 1983 I stopped smoking. In April, 1989, I was diagnosed with the above. [The prostate cancer turned out to be a false alarm.] I vividly remember Easter Monday, 1989 when my doctor gave me the news. I was in deep shock and remember  going into his office and not hearing a word he said.  When I got over the shock I became indignant saying to myself,  "I don't have time for this nonsense!"  I had no intention of leaving my wonderful family and we had too many plans that we were looking forward to including early retirement and building our retirement dream home on a lake in Haliburton.  I resolved to beat it and told the surgeon to "do it". They removed the lower half of my left lung and eight days later I was home. I never looked back.
Prayer, a positive attitude, the love and support of family and friends and our expert doctors will pull you through! The skin cancer is still being treated with liquid nitrogen [burned away] every six months. Don't EVER wear a mesh ball cap.  I'm living proof that a diagnosis of cancer is NOT a death sentence. Thanks, Anwar, for the opportunity to weigh in on this.


Terry M, Mississauga ON - Diagnosis: Testicular Cancer
I was told I had cancer on my 34th birthday. I had an undescended testicle that was removed and tested after I got married.  Sure enough, there was a tumor there. On my first visit to PMH, I was told I just needed to be monitored. On my follow-up visit, I was told I needed radiation. Finally, on my third visit I was told I needed Chemo and possibly radiation because it had spread into my chest. Because I was young & healthy, they were going to give me an aggressive chemo plan. My wife was devastated. I smiled and said confidently "let's do this".  My positive approach to the news confused them at first. I guess they figured I would break down & cry but I refused to let this control me. Early on during one of my many "nausea" moments, my then 2 yr old daughter came into the bathroom as I was slouched over the toilet, patted my back and said "you'll be okay, daddy". That was the moment I knew I needed to survive this. 1.5 years after chemo, my son was born - naturally. We were shocked. We were told we couldn't have children again. Amazingly, he was born under the sign of Cancer!!?? Now 15 years later, I am cancer free. I have a wonderful, supportive wife, 2 beautiful children and love & cherish each moment I have with family & friends and love life to the fullest.

 


 

 Herbert  P, Aurora  ON - Diagnosis: Mouth Cancer

Diagnosed in 2007. I received a clean bill of health from Sunnybrook the weekend before Thanksgiving this year. Hope does happen.
Surgery removed part of the floor of my mouth, and it was over a year before I could have a hot cup of tea, but acceptance is a good thing to learn when the unexpected happens. I believe the mind is a much more powerful tool than we know. Our emotional well-being and our physical wellness are directly related. Try painting. I believe art has the power to generate self expression, quiet the mind and heal. I call my paintings Artcures.


 

Gail O, - Diagnosis: Breast Cancer
In February, 2006, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. From a couple of weeks of doom and gloom I went to an uplifting of the burden from my heart and soul. I prayed and asked that His will be done. If whatever He chose for me that I be given the grace and dignity to abide by that decision. As a First Nations woman, I also met with a Traditional Healer, who told me that when I went back, the doctor would tell me there was no cancer. My family and friends were also my greatest strength. I knew they were also praying for me. I also used the internet to research breast cancer giving me total knowledge of what I was dealing with. I visited websites on survivors receiving strength from their stories. Time was an eternity for a reason. Thank you to the Creator for the five year milestone.

 


 Yolanda V, Markham ON - Diagnosis: Hodgkin's Lymphoma
In October 2010, at the young age of 23 I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was terrified and unsure of what my future would entail. I seeked life saving treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital and was under the care of an amazing oncologist who saved my life. Upon being diagnosed I made a personal commitment and promise to myself that I will beat this cancer and I will not let it consume my life. My now fiancee, parents, sisters, brother-in-laws, extended family and friends never left my side for not even a moment during my 8 months of intense chemotherapy (4 regimens in total) and an auto stem cell transplant, they helped me every step of the way. Never give up hope, stay positive as difficult as it may be, keep busy, trust the process but ultimately have FAITH, HOPE & LOVE! This is what got me through my journey and today I am currently in remission, forever grateful for my cure and moving forward with my teaching career, getting married to my best friend and pillar of strength. Even on your darkest days...NEVER give up hope because anything is possible...you can do it!

 


Norman G, Stevensville ON -Diagnosis: Prostate Cancer
That's me on the left, at the hamilton around the bay marathon.  I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the spring of 2006, and treated at the J.C.C. in Hamilton.  I volunteered for a clinical study and received 44 radiation treatments, the initial impact of the biopsy was very surprising and scary to say the least -but early detection is my story. After more than 5 years and constant checkups with the cancer centre I am cancer free and I urge all men to have a PSA test yearly and start early too.  It gives a base figure to go on...to detect any untoward problems.


Mary Lou R, Sauble Beach ON - Diagnosis: Malignant Melanoma
I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma stage 3 cancer in 1979. It was removed with surgery resulting in a crater left in my back but it saved my life. It took me a long time to believe I would be a survivor, especially when the Dr. first told me I had 2 years at most. As time passed I was fortunate enough to change doctors and found one who was positive I would live to be 80. I`m not there yet but look forward to reaching that milestone. This Dr. said when I had days of fear from thinking I wasn`t going to beat this , he said just pop in and he would be there to remind me of his prediction. Thank goodness for positive thinkers. Surround yourself with them and life will go on for you to enjoy. I have seen our kids graduate, marry and give us grandchildren. I am a survivor and you can be too!


Jim R, Orillia ON - Diagnosis: Prostate Cancer
In the last decade I have had over 20 procedures, with 5 melanomas. I am also now facing gall bladder surgery, after some polyps were discovered. But for me, it is all good news so far. Scary at times, but as I am well into my 7th decade and feeling really great, I still look forward to many years of good health thanks to regular checks, tests & support from my many doctors at Sunnybrook. My advice, get regular check-ups, and if any problems or concerns show up, do NOT be reluctant to get a second opinion. Listen to your doctors. Sooner, rather than later, can save your life!

 


Leslie A, Mississauga ON - Diagnosis: Colon Cancer
My Story is similar to many on this website, In July of 2008 I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. After under going Surgery at Credit Valley Hospital, where a part of my Colon was removed, I was given the news that it had spread to a few lymph nodes. At 48 with 3 kids and a wife, I was very afraid, but I knew I had to fight this disease for my sake and my family. I went through 12 sessions of chemo, and my Oncologist and the nurses at the Carlo Fidani Cance Care at Credit Valley were amazing and everyone one of them an Angel, taking great care and adding that personal touch at every chemo session. I will and will always praise our Health system in Canada for all the resources that are available. I am now healthy and have just gone back to work full time. I have realized that family, friends and a healthly life style is so important going forward.


 

Petra A, Ajax ON -Diagnosis: Breast Cancer 
You know when you have that voice inside that tells you one thing and yet everyone else is telling you something else? I found my lump January of 2004 and was told to just watch it. I had no family history, I had nursed my children. I had no risk factors and yet that dreaded diagnosis came just after I had completed doing The Weekend to End Breast Cancer for PM Hospital. We were shocked but I went into survival mode. Now 7 years later I still have scares from various lumps in the remaining breast and I do, in the back of my head, always wait for the other shoe to drop. But God gave me my first grandchild this past summer and I intend to be around and love that sweet baby for a long time. May God continue to bless you and keep you.


Madeline L, Orleans ON - Diagnosis:Diffuse B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma                      

Six years ago, I battled colon cancer and an E-coli infection with the removal of section of my colon, my spleen and my immune system shutting down, but thanks to the Lord and the support of my husband and many family and friends, I survived. At the end of January 2011, I was diagnosed with diffuse B cell non-Hodgin's lymphoma. From having a mass removed from my colon, my stitches broke, and I developed peritonitis (bad abdominal infection). I was in hospital for three months, but again, I survived. I had to have an ileostomy bag (the small intestine empties into a bag on my abdomen, which I can have reversed in early June 2012. After a year and a half, I know that I will get my life back, and that; I will be healthy again and stronger than ever.

 


 

Jane B, Emsdale ON - Diagnosis: Triple negative breast cancer 2005, hormone related breast Cancer 2006    

I was 62 when diagnosed, life was fantastic,busy, I was blessed. On my 62 birthday I had my first mastectomy. Triple negative cancer is challenging. After mastectomy I received chemo for 8 treatments. Then by the Sept of 2006 I was diagnosed once again only this time a completely different type of breast cancer. Hormone related, another mastectomy, no chemo this time, as it grew during previous chemo, so on a med for 5 years. It has now been 6 years since first cancer and 5 years since second one.  I am alive, well, active, enjoying every moment of my life. Now more than ever feeling so blessed. I never gave up hope, just believed that I could beat it. I am a Christian and do belive that my faith kept me sane during much of the fight and do praise the Lord for my miracles. They do happen. Keep looking for them. I felt that by giving up hope too soon, actually we had allowed cancer to win. Stay alive as long as you live! Thanks for the opportunity to share, I too believe we need much more info on survivors.


Rosey C, Markham ON - Diagnosis: Hodgkins Lymphoma                  
Months of symptoms, always misdiagnosed as asthma,eczema,torn rotator cuff,thyroid goiters. So much pain. Finally,cancer. I told everyone. I asked for help. I sobbed.I showed up. I believed in PMH. Three years after chemo,I fear relapse,but I like my life. I live with cancer. I live well.

  

 


 

Gwen D, Cobourg ON - Diagnosis: Multiple Myeloma                      

I was treated for high blood pressure for almost two years by a doctor in BC. When I moved back to Ontario, I went to my former doctor who sent me to another doctor who discovered multiple myeloma. I had 16 chemo. treatments and a stem cell transplant. I have just celebrated 1 year of good test results. There is no sign of cancer, but MM is not curable. I take one day at a time and thank God for each of them. I have "hope" that someday all cancers will be curable.



Karen, Toronto ON - Diagnosis: Stage 2 Thyroid Cancer
Hearing you have cancer can be a scary moment. You will not know in this moment all that is ahead. For me, having cancer was one of the best things to happen to me. I was just 34 and it changed the direction of my life for the better. I would not change any of what I went thru, I cherish it...it made me stronger, smarter, more empathetic and a better person. For me, finding the cancer is a moment to rejoice because now you can attack it and it no longer is a silent killer, this day is a good day!

 


 

 Shelley S, Moncton NB - Diagnosis:Choriocarsinoma
Each time I faced my battle with cancer and fears of not being here for my family, I made a conscious choice to focus on trying to spread laughter and joy wherever I went.  Even though I was rocked with anxiety to the core on the inside, I joked with the doctors and nurses during painful procedures and even laughed my way though nauseating chemo treatments.  It's amazing the things you can find humor in if you really try and the positive energy and feedback I got from others was healing for my body and soul.  People used to ask me all the time "how do you stay so positive and upbeat during such a frightening time?". But I honestly believe that happiness is a choice we can make, even during the darkest times.

                    


 

Alan, Toronto ON. - Diagnosis: Melanoma
In the last decade I have had over 20 procedures, with 5 melanomas. I am also now facing gall bladder surgery, after some polyps were discovered. But for me, it is all good news so far. Scary at times, but as I am well into my 7th decade and feeling really great, I still look forward to many years of good health thanks to regular checks, tests & support from my many doctors at Sunnybrook.  My advice, get regular check-ups, and if any problems or concerns show up, do NOT be reluctant to get a second opinion. Listen to your doctors. Sooner, rather than later, can save your life!


  Janine, Newmarket ON. - Diagnosis: Papillary Carcinoma
At the age of 32 I was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma. I had young children, a career and a husband. It was found during a routine check up as I was continually gaining weight and couldn’t do shift work any longer.  A fine needle biopsy confirmed it was indeed cancer. I had an option to remove the entire gland or partial. I chose the complete removal. I continued on with radioactive iodine treatment at Sunnybrook. I still see my endocrinologist every year and will for my entire life. I do have issues with the medication (heart palpitations) and cannot be on enough to take the weight off. I don’t dwell on the “it’s not fair” aspect of it for long. It is so easy to let the grief and pure fright overtake you. You can’t change the diagnosis, remain positive, do as you are told no matter how hard it seems, take time for yourself (I took almost a year off for the surgery and treatment) therefore I didn’t have to worry about work along with everything else. I don’t worry about the physical changes any longer, I’m just happy to be here to hold my family and friends close.  


Chris, Diagnosis: Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
A life altered is a life enriched. I have seen tremendous advances in treatment over my decade of living with cancer. This is the MOST promising time for cancer research. Seek support and fight the fear and anxiety that feeds cancer. Remember you are not alone;hundreds of people are diagnosed and treated every day. Your journey will tax your mental and physical health, but its important that you celebrate every victory, regardless of how small it may seem. You deserve it. With time'pay it forward' and look to share your experience, your anxiety, your fears and hopefully your success. 


 

 

 

 

 

Don R, London ON - Diagnosis: NHL dlbc,stage 4
It has been 1 year today since I was in bed rubbing my chest when i notice a large lump that had developed in less than 10 hours. After 6 months of chemo and a month of radiation, the lymphoma had made its way to my liver,which was a suprise to my hemotoligist. But no matter what the news was I always try to stay positive,with a lot of laughter. I have a loving wife Annette and 3 boys who have all helped me deal with this bump in the road. I found that focusing on my family and not the cancer helped all of us. I teased the chemo nurses every day and threatened them that some day I will be back as a volunteer in the chemo suite helping others like myself. People talk about their bucket list, I told them my bucket is full. I am not concerned with what I havent done in my life ...I am celebrating my life with all my family & friends. Let me finish by saying thanks to all who were there when we cried, but a special THANK YOU to ALL who made me smile and laugh the day away...my bucket is overflowing with joy. I pray that all who fight cancer will find grace and peace with themselves, family and friends. Celebrate Life.


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