In 2011, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. After which, came the process in which I was reconstructed. You see, when fighting cancer, being reconstructed is not a priority. If your treatment protocol is to have a mastectomy, that will be approved, however to be reconstructed, you need to go on a wait-list.
In 2011, after many doctor/hospital visits, several emails, lots of red tap, and $10,000, I was able to have chemo, radiation, double mastectomy and reconstruction within 10 months. Currently this process takes about 3 years in Alberta.
What also happens to most women, is they are told they can’t be reconstructed. After these woman have fought for their life, the hope of being reconstructed is something they hang onto, only to be told, they need to live with the scars, live without the breasts that defined them as a woman. They are told, “You should be thankful you are alive, being reconstructed shouldn’t be a priority”! I was told, by a well known doctor, that I was selfish and more concerned about my looks, than beating my cancer, that i should be concerned about being their for my children. Yes, I left the hospital, with no hair, no nails, so sick from chemo, and was told I was selfish!
I knew there was a shorter time frame, that was just as effective in battling my cancer, that would allow me to be back to being a woman, mother, wife, friend! Not all women choose to be reconstructed, but if you do, there are options and we need to make these available to women.
I already sit on a committee, in which we are trying to implement new standards in Canada, but we are a long way away. In the meantime, if women want to be reconstructed in a shorter period of time, they have to travel and pay for their reconstruction.
Our family, forever and always, will contribute to various charities to help people fighting cancer, however, the Pure Life – Fighter’s Foundation, will work directly with families to help them with financial burden’s of cancer, and if possible, help fund reconstruction! While we work with the medical community to change the process. We will help coordinate meals, we will help with financial distress, we will support the caregivers, we will be advocates, we will help with lifestyle changes, our family will RISE, with our Fighter’s Foundation, to carry a family, through to the other side of cancer! The foundation will take submissions for families who need our help! When I was told the words you have cancer, I never felt so cold, or alone! I need and want to give back through our families foundation!