I am sitting in a psychosocial oncology centre as I try to find the best way to approach this next subject.
My intents are very clear to me, I would like to say thank you to my mother, Lynn Fecteau, and the amazing group of ladies who have worked tirelessly for the past few months to bring the Look Good Feel Better workshop to my hometown.
It is even more evident to me, as I sit here, that the team is making a huge difference in the lives of cancer thrivers, who, before now, had very few opportunities to participate in such programs.
Let me explain the correlation between the big oncology centre I am visiting and my increased sense of gratitude.
Two years ago, I had the opportunity to be treated in two very different regional centres which allowed me to visit three shockingly different hospitals in the context of my cancer experience.
Each of them offered me a very unique experience when it came to cancer treatments and, in many ways, continue to do so.
Although they now do so in an increasingly varied capacity – I don’t only visit oncology centres for medical appointments anymore, but also in my capacity as founder of Soar Above Cancer and as a master's of social work student.
The two centres that I am a member of are the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Program and the Northeastern Cancer Centre in Sudbury. They offer a wide range of services including the Look Good Feel Better workshop which I gladly participated in.
Luckily, I was also able to be treated at the satellite location of the latter centre, which is located in Timmins, Ontario - also my hometown.
I really did appreciate the time I spent at my hometown’s cancer ward.
Although smaller than the two previously mentioned cancer programs, the treatments that are offered in Timmins are given with love and the greatest of care.
As a survivor, you get to know the staff and your fellow survivors on a whole other level.
The bottom line is, the medical treatments I received could not have been more tailored to my needs.
Nonetheless, I now get to be proud of a second aspect of the oncology programs offered in my hometown. A group of community members have seen fit to implement one of the most valued cancer-life oriented projects available, in my opinion.
The Look Good Feel Better workshop, as available in major cities across Canada and around the world, are now being implemented in my own childhood town.
I feel beyond excited. In fact, when my mother announced that she was beginning the process to implement the program, I was overjoyed.
Of course, I must admit, I was saddened that I wouldn't be available to contribute directly to the efforts. But it is long overdue and needed to be established as soon as possible.
It is now time for me to thank all of those who have worked, in any which way, towards making this project possible.
As a cancer thriver from Timmins, Ontario, I see the value in the work my community has been doing.
To my mother and her team specifically, I say thank you. I say with love, "you have made a difference."
You have shown me support although I am no longer in treatment.
In fact, you are letting all women affected by cancer, many whom we may know personally, understand that they matter.
My mother, through my experience with cancer, was faced with the harsh realities that comes with going through such an experience in a town offering most services via distance.
However, she and the team of women, as well as our sponsors, that got involved in Look Good Feel Better Timmins understood that we, as a community, have a power to create change.
Again, a huge thank you to all of you beautiful ladies.