The gift of time
Story by Vesna Zic-Côté
“In 2012, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Despite the standard treatment of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal treatment, the cancer returned four years later. It had spread to my lungs, bones and lymph nodes.
I am now living with incurable stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. My current regimen includes treatment at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, self injections, and a daily chemotherapy agent.
Metastatic breast cancer is treatable, but not curable. When I was first diagnosed, my life expectancy was being measured in months. Now, with cautious hope, it might be a few years. But I am a 43-year-old mother. And wife. And daughter. And sister. I need more time. Time to see my young children through elementary school, time to watch my family grow and share in all the joys that life brings. Time to celebrate anniversaries with my husband, and birthdays with my niece and nephews. Time with my beloved family and friends.
There is so much that needs to happen to make this a reality for me. I will need new treatments when my current regimen fails me. I need research in cancer therapies and a health-care system that is streamlined and accessible.
Sadly, early detection does not prevent all cancers from returning and spreading. We need research to understand why, and treatment to extend our lives.
On behalf of all of us living with incurable cancer - finding joy between injections and scans and blood work and appointments, living with hope and making a difference - thank you for your support.”
Your desire to make a difference is giving Vesna and her family new hope. Your support allows The Ottawa Hospital to improve medicine through research and provide the very best care to our patients with the latest treatment options. Make your gift now to give cancer patients like Vesna a chance to be with their families this holiday season.
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