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Meet Sandie

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As we enter March, we'd like to introduce you to another member here on our community. This month we're pleased to introduce you to Sandie- better known on here as shellylynn. Here's more about Sandie in her own words. 


Hello my name is Sandie, I am 53 years old, and I live in Oshawa, Ontario,with my two sons. Stratton (25), and Sterling (21), and my part time grandson Rainor.
 
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My journey through the world of cancer was kind of short and sweet. It went from having sore feet in September 2015, to possible sciatica, and then I broke a rib at the end of June. It took the doctors here 6 weeks to decide to take an xray to confirm that I had a broken rib, and by the time that they did that I broken another rib (August), and shortly after that my sternum (Sept). By the time I was diagnosed on October 2nd, I was actually happy to finally have my condition validated, it's just too bad that it had to be cancer that was causing my problems. In a nutshell I have stage 4 cancer that has metastisized all over.

After that I was sent for an MRI, where they confirmed the cancer in my sternum and also noticed that it had spread to my spine. I was immediately prepped for radiation for the following day, and they even opened up the cancer clinic on Saturday just to treat me. After 5 rounds of radiation I started chemotherapy. I'm on a treatment called paclitaxel and I receive it 3 times a month. The treatment has made a huge difference for me and I went from barely being able to get out of bed, to being able to go downstairs to make dinner or do a puzzle with my family. Yay Chemo!
 
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After 3 rounds of chemotherapy I was given a CAT scan and it showed up that the cancer had not spread and had in fact shrunk in the 3 affected areas (my sternum, ribs and spine), improving my prognosis to 1-2 years. I know that even with an improved prognosis, anything can happen, so I just try to appreciate everyday to the fullest and I think that's truly the key to living with cancer. When I was first diagnosed I took care of all the important things like making a will, giving away possessions meant for certain people, etc, and now I can just focus on life.

The first thing I did was join a group called KindCanada, a volunteer group that is knitting scarves for the Syrian refugees coming to Canada. If I am going to have to lie in bed a lot, then I might as well be doing something productive at the same time. That is almost coming to a close as the Syrians are  almost all here, so I will start looking for something that involves more knitting for the needy, and I am also getting ready to replace my deck this summer. I designed my last deck and it lasted 20 years, I would love to leave an extra special deck so that my kids always have a place that reminds them of me.
 
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Caregivers......I can never say enough about them and all the work that they do. When I was first diagnosed my phone rang off the hook, I had appointments everyday, as well as things like having to deal with losing my benefits from work, sorting out life my life insurance, renegotiating our mortgage, figuring out my will,  receiving assistive equipment, dealing with unemployment, switching to welfare/ODSP, getting a public health nurse in etc. So that is the secretary aspect that is needed once you find out you have cancer. Then you need the chauffeur to drive you to all your appointments, your cook, your cleaner, your dog walker. I never realized how many things I did until I couldn't do them anymore lol.  If I wasn't lucky enough to have two loving sons and amazing friends helping me through I'm not sure I would have made it.

Overall this has been a learning experience and this website has helped me realize that I am not alone in this battle. It feels good to be able to advise people and to get advice when I need it too. Good luck and God Bless.




We'd like to thank Sandie for sharing some of her story and her photos with us. If you are interested in being featured in one of our monthly Meet your Neighbour posts, please send a private message to Nicole_admin, or email us at cancerconnection@cancer.ca.

 




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