Breast Cancer Patient: “I will forever be grateful”

Robin was only 41 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2019. Despite it being a very difficult time in her life, she feels blessed for the care she received at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. She shares her story today.

“I was diagnosed at the end of May 2019 with breast cancer. At this time, when I was starting my breast cancer journey, my beautiful aunt was ending hers. It was probably one of the hardest times in my life and I had lost my father to cancer two years earlier. My journey felt fast, much like a whirlwind; I barely had time to process I had cancer before it was removed from my body. Within two weeks of being diagnosed, I had my surgery done in June. My surgeon was fantastic, she did such a good job that it’s hard to tell I’ve had a lumpectomy. I started chemotherapy at the Cross Cancer Institute a month later and on the day before my 42 birthday, on November 30th, I completed my last round of chemotherapy. By the end of December, I will start radiation treatments for approximately 5 1/2 weeks (25 sessions). After this, I will be on hormone therapy for 5 years.

During my cancer journey, I have attended some fantastic programs for cancer patients here in Edmonton and have been taken care of and supported in ways I didn’t know existed! I have purchased gorgeous wigs from the talented ladies at The Wig Boutique, have attended programs at Wellspring, attended the ‘Look Good Feel Better’ Program at the Cross (learned to draw on fabulous eyebrows) and I have had the absolute best care from my Oncologist and his team of professionals, as well as two Cardiologist Oncologists I have worked closely with during chemotherapy.

The Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton is a very well oiled machine. I never felt alone, I always had help with any questions I had, whether it was from nurses working the triage phone line, the pharmacy at the Cross taking my many calls regarding the medications I was on, to my own Oncologists answering my emails and phone calls. They provide me with clarity, research-based information regarding my health and wellness and they give me confidence in my treatment plan. The Radiation Oncologist I’m currently working with and the team of Radiologists are amazing people. Thorough and know their stuff. I’m also so grateful to the kind nurses who took my blood every 3 weeks before my next round of chemotherapy; thank you for your gentle hands and kind words. They all care about their patients and it shows! I feel so supported by the wonderful people who work and volunteer there. The nurses facilitating chemo to patients, the snack cart with volunteers and friendly smiles; these people made my therapy so much easier to do.

So much to be grateful for. When I rang that bell at the Cross, it was truly a victory for me! I am done, I have graduated! With just a short round of radiation to go, I feel good about my health and my prognosis.

I will forever be grateful, as these individuals saved my life! Some day, when this is all over and I have recovered fully, I will give back. I will find a way to give even a small portion of the love and support I have received back to these wonderful people.

With all my heart I thank you and have massive gratitude for all I have gained from this experience. Cancer is awful, undoubtedly. But I will never forget how blessed I’ve been throughout this journey I’m on.”

– Robin Hairsine

Thank you, Robin, for sharing your story with the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

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