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Good afternoon from Belinda

Good afternoon from Belinda

Posted by Belinda on Oct 17, 2020 12:38 pm

Hello everyone:  

I am just starting to find my way around the site.  My hope is to volunteer and help others who have been diagnosed with Cancer.  

My older sister had been diagnosed with lung cancer with Mets to the brain in late 2006.  I travelled the journey with her through all her treatment plans, the ups and the downs.  I went to all her doctor appointments, kept a journal so we wouldn’t miss anything, made trips out of province with her for gamma knife treatments hoping to better target the tumors.  She fought  brave fight and entered Palliative care in June 2007.  My sister passed away on July 14, 2007.  

As life unfolded, I had had a breast biopsy done the day before on July 13.  Then I got the call that it was time for the family to gather for my sister.  Her room was filled with love that day.....and night as we waited for her spirit to join family in heaven.  She passed around noon time on the 14th. Her funeral was held the following Tuesday.  

My appointment with my doctor for biopsy results was the next day on Wednesday at 4 in the afternoon.  My doctor was kind delivering the news that the biopsy indicated invasive breast cancer.  I think the journey with my sister helped prepare me for what I was about to go through.  Her doctors now became my doctors.  

I was fortunate that my cancer was in the early stages.  I was given lot of material to read to help make the best decisión I could sith counsel from the doctors as well.  I chose to have a lumpectomy since I was early stage.  I followed doctors orders, and following surgery had 6 months of chemo treatment followed by rounds of radiation.  Although I was early stage the tumor was considered aggressive .  I finished all my treatment on April 15, 2008.  I had an appointment for a mammogram in October on the remaining breast.  I went to see the medical oncologist for results and found out there was suspicious tissue.  I could have another lumpectomy or I. Outdoor decide on a mastectomy this time. 

I decided on the mastectomy, and wouldn’t have to worry about suspicious tissue in The future.  In early December I had a mastectomy.  The tissue was biopsied, but no additional cancer was found.    I then went on Tamoxifen for 2 1/2 years, and the Arimidex for 21/2 years.  

I am checked every year and have remained cancer free.

During my own journey, my husband was diagnosed with recurrent renal cell carcinoma in September 2008.  His journey continued until December 2010 when God’s plan said his time on earth was done.  

I took a break from everything Cancer....I have been living Cancer every day since my sister was diagnosed.  We all had the very best of care and I knew one day I wanted to find a way to give back.

I am not sure of the exact date, but 5 or 6 years ago I started volunteering at Canadian Cancer Society office helping with administrative duties.  I volunteered every Friday in the office.  Then I volunteered to be a part of peer support.  Making calls to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and checking in to see how they were doing.

With Covid 19 we have had a adapt to new ways of connecting.  I will be checking my emails and Cancer Connection for anyone wanting to connect and share their journey.  It is my belief that sharing our experiences helps us move to the step, and takes away some of the fear and anxiety.  

I am happy yo be a part of Cancer Connection, and hope we can share our thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Re: Good afternoon from Belinda Montigny

Posted by Essjay on Oct 17, 2020 1:12 pm

Belinda‍ welcome to Cancerconnections! You’ve had quite a time with cancer and I’m sure your experiences with lung, breast and renal cancers, as well as navigating cancer as both a patient and a career will be useful to others.

I am sure Lacey_Moderator‍ and Lianne_Moderator‍ can give you some advice privately on the best ways to help, but just answering questions and providing support is a good start.

Good to meet you. Essjay
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Good afternoon from Belinda Montigny

Posted by Belinda on Oct 17, 2020 2:08 pm

Thank you so much Essjay.  Learning as I go.

Belinda Montigny

Re: Good afternoon from Belinda Montigny

Posted by Kims1961 on Oct 17, 2020 4:23 pm

Belinda‍ Welcome!  How awesome that you have joined this community, you will have so much to offer as you have been on both sides of the cancer journey.

It sounds like your sister and your husband were so fortunate to have you in their lives to help them with the cancer journey. Being able to be present with our loved ones during a terminal illness, is not easy but such an honour.  I am happy to hear of your own cancer free journey now.

Welcome again - thank you for posting.  Kim
Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: Good afternoon from Belinda

Posted by Belinda on Oct 17, 2020 6:44 pm

Thank you Kim 1961.  I believe our time on earth is help by walking each other home.  It was an honor and privilege to share in my sister’s experience and my husband’s until it was time for them to go to heaven. 


Re: Good afternoon from Belinda

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Oct 19, 2020 4:38 pm

Welcome Belinda‍ 

Thank you for your years of dedication as a volunteer. 

Happy to have you on the site!