This may be the most important post that I have to write, and I was hoping to have it published in time for Thanksgiving. I thought what a better time to write than during a time we are thankful, but life got in the way.
I am so grateful that I work in such a great institution! If the Canadian Armed Forces is not the best “company” to work for I don’t know where else is. They have given me the time to focus on me and my family. Everyone rallied around me to give me the support I needed and even the support I didn’t know I needed. My bosses (or CoC for those military-types) are extremely understanding in providing time for both physical and mental healing and providing me with work opportunities such that I still feel part of the team.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the medical team on the military-side that started this whole process. Who knows how long the cancer would have been undetected if I didn’t feel comfortable coming forward with the lump I found. I had originally “complained” in 2016 about having pain in my right breast and at that time they didn’t blink an eye and they sent me for a mammogram and follow-on ultrasounds where nothing was detected. Then, when I went back in the summer of 2018 downplaying a similar complaint they sent me again for a mammogram and ultrasound. I always felt like I had a voice and that I was taken seriously. The medical coverage that the military provides is amazing. The drugs and the services that are covered are above and beyond when I compare with others that are going through or have been through similar diagnosis.
I feel so blessed that the cancer was found in Kingston. The medical team here at both Hotel Dieu and KGH are amazing. From the ultrasound technician who noticed the dimpling in my skin and urged me to get the results from my dr immediately, Dr Jabbs (awesome name for the radiologist who “jabbed” me with a needle for my biopsy) who used her used her connections to get me an MRI very quickly (days rather than the months I would’ve had to wait), to Dr Engel (my oncology surgeon) who is the head prof at Queens for breast cancer, to Dr Ethier (my oncologist) who never makes me feel like I’m taking too much of her time with my numerous questions I have, and to the amazing nurses who sit with me during chemo, take my stats, and get any questions I may have ready for the doctors.
Lastly my thanks goes to you…my amazing family and friends. I have been overwhelmed with all the ways that you have reached out and provided me with your support. I have been blessed with care packages, flowers, helping me start this blog, walks, coming to help with the children, taking the kids for playdates, making me food, chatting with me at all times of the day/night, sharing expertise in cancer-related questions, coming to appointments with me (for even the little things like trying on wigs or learning how to put on make up, going to BRA Day), sending meal packages, praying with me before appointments or just giving me the strength when I needed it most (I know that was a run-on sentence, but I just couldn’t find a logical break). I do have to give a shout out to the 3 special people that have to live with me day and night and put up with the side-effects that come with this diagnosis. Both kids have been INCREDIBLE and I have THE MOST AMAZING HUSBAND. I believe if it wasn’t for Kris this lump would have gone undetected for quite some time and I can’t let my brain go to the dark place if that was the case. He’s the one who gave me the final push to go to the doctor.
I’m sure I have missed some of the kindness that you have provided and for that I am truly sorry and will blame my chemo-brain.
Sincerely from the bottom of my heart, thank you!