We would like to introduce to you an amazing woman, although we have never met Veronica, we are friends. Everyday I see her smiling face on my newsfeed, I read her stories and see her journey. I also see that she has great taste in interior design! I asked her to share her story with everyone and here it is:
I am 39 and have been diagnosed with cancer. The actual diagnosis: Advanced Metastatic Breast Cancer. I didn’t really understand what that meant and as such didn’t think my cancer was all that serious… Lots of women are diagnosed with breast cancer and survive… Right?!?
In January right before my diagnosis I started training for a half marathon (a goal I set for myself in the hopes of becoming a healthier person) I was diagnosed the week before running the Vancouver BMO half marathon. Regardless of the news I finished my training and ran 21.1 km in 1 hour 51 minutes. It was my 1st half marathon and I was so proud of what I had accomplished. I was happy, life was good!
Shortly after running the BMO my leg started to hurt… At first I didn’t think much of it and brushed it off as a running injury. After having my surgery (double mastectomy with 17 lymph nodes removed on the left side) I started to run again but this time the pain was much worse… Almost unbearable. After some tests and scans and an appointment with the Ongologist I was told that my breast cancer had spread to the bone in my left leg, my liver and the lymph nodes in my neck. It was that moment that I finally understood what advanced metastatic breast cancer was. In that moment my life changed. I was was told that the average life expectancy was 3 years with treatment.
When you’re given news such as I was you can’t help but think of all the things that you have left to do and all the things you still have yet to learn. My perspective on life all of a sudden changed.
I live life today with the reality that life is short and that we really should enjoy each moment. I try to not take the little things for granted.
The pain in my leg still exists and it prevents me from running like I used to but I have found other ways to stay active and healthy. Figure skating has always been a huge part of my life and biking has helped me get the cardio running once gave me. I recently bought snow shoes and plan on doing some hikes this winter. I also hit the gym and run shorter runs on the treadmil when the pain is okay.
I try to keep life as normal as possible, it’s what helps me get through each day. I try to not think too much about the end and focus more on what I’m doing today. Like anyone I have bad days and moments I wish I could erase but I’ve learned that that’s living… I’m not perfect but with each new day I try to be a better person than the person I was yesterday.
We would like to thank Veronica for sharing her story with us! You are so strong and beautiful and you are teaching everyone what that means. Always do what you love, always cherish the moment you are living in. It is because of people and stories like Veronica’s that every October we host a Breast Cancer Fundraiser Run locally and virtually. We have to help the fight. Join us.