Diane's Story - Inspiring Stories
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Diane’s story

Diane was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. At first, she was shocked and scared, and couldn’t even say the word “cancer” for a while. Once it all sunk in, she became motivated and determined to beat it so she could be around to see her daughter grow up.

She went through a series of chemo, radiation, and surgeries that took a toll on her.  Through it all, Diane was surrounded by amazing family and friends who supported her. The whole experience taught her to be more positive and to embrace life. And in July 2018, she celebrated a milestone—five years cancer free.

Diane, with her first-hand knowledge of the struggles of cancer, wanted to do her part to support others who are suffering. Once she was better, she participated in the CIBC Run for the Cure, and has done so for the past five years. Diane and her fundraising team, Diane’s Bosom Buddies, have raised over $50,000 to support a future without breast cancer.

Q&A
What was your journey to healing like?

I am a firm believer that tough times build character and everything happens for a reason. I was fortunate to have caught the cancer early and be able to complete the recommended treatment. I focused on getting healthy and being around to watch my daughter grow up.

The journey wasn’t always easy, but I took advantage of cancer support centres and participated in activities like meditation, nutritional cooking classes, and reiki. Ringing the bell after my last treatment was amazing and emotional—you feel a sense of accomplishment, but sadness for others still going through the process.

Cancer was an eye opener and life changer. It forced me to change my attitude and try new things.

Who supported you through this journey?

I was very lucky to have the most amazing support system. My mom and sister were there when I received the news. They allowed me a night to cry and then I picked myself up and went to work until the day before my surgery. My partner, Rick, was very supportive and always made me feel loved, encouraged and beautiful, even when I was bald. I had a great team at work who gave me the flexibility to stay off without guilt and get better. My colleagues and managers would even call and check in on me from time to time.

My parents were incredible and helped me with my daughter—mom making food I could stomach, forcing me to drink fresh juices and take vitamins; my sister would put motivational posters throughout my home and encourage me to get better. It takes a village to survive cancer.

My best friend was amazing; she just listened and let me feel normal, she didn’t give me looks of pity. I was blessed to have a lot of support including doctors, neighbours, friends and family. I always felt loved and supported, and never attended a chemo session alone.

How did you manage to stay positive through it all?

We can only make the best of the situation we’re in. I started a gratitude journal that had me focusing on the positives. Reading books that encouraged positivity helped me too. I believe that thinking about things will make them happen. I told myself that cancer was just a cross I had to bear and I could beat this.

I also attended a breast cancer support group where I met women going through experiences I could relate to, and it prepared me for what was coming up—like when you will start losing hair and how to deal with it. I met a friend around my age though the support group and we still remain friends to this day

Having cancer has brought me closer to a lot of people, helped me not sweat the small stuff, try new things, travel, and experience more.

What was your involvement with CIBC Run for the Cure and Diane’s Bosom Buddies?

I’ve been participating in the CIBC run for the past six years. The Running Room has a survivors group you can join for free prior to the run. After treatment, it was an amazing feeling to train and be able to run across that finish line with my pink survivor t-shirt and receive a pink flower. I was so emotional, seeing all the other survivors and how many people come out to support family and friends. The run is a tribute to loved ones we have lost, others that are in treatment and survivors. It offers hope for a future without breast cancer.

An old manager at FCT started a team for Diane’s Bosom Buddies and after he left, I wanted to keep it going; I’m now the team captain and I send out invitations for people to join. I have great family and friends that come every year to support this wonderful cause.

How did you manage to stay positive through it all?

We can only make the best of the situation we’re in. I started a gratitude journal that had me focusing on the positives. Reading books that encouraged positivity helped me too. I believe that thinking about things will make them happen. I told myself that cancer was just a cross I had to bear and I could beat this.

I also attended a breast cancer support group where I met women going through experiences I could relate to, and it prepared me for what was coming up—like when you will start losing hair and how to deal with it. I met a friend around my age though the support group and we still remain friends to this day

Having cancer has brought me closer to a lot of people, helped me not sweat the small stuff, try new things, travel, and experience more.

What was your involvement with CIBC Run for the Cure and Diane’s Bosom Buddies?

I’ve been participating in the CIBC run for the past six years. The Running Room has a survivors group you can join for free prior to the run. After treatment, it was an amazing feeling to train and be able to run across that finish line with my pink survivor t-shirt and receive a pink flower. I was so emotional, seeing all the other survivors and how many people come out to support family and friends. The run is a tribute to loved ones we have lost, others that are in treatment and survivors. It offers hope for a future without breast cancer.

An old manager at FCT started a team for Diane’s Bosom Buddies and after he left, I wanted to keep it going; I’m now the team captain and I send out invitations for people to join. I have great family and friends that come every year to support this wonderful cause.

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