Almost 30,000 people in B.C. will get diagnosed with cancer this year, according to BC Cancer Agency – a number that highlights the ongoing importance of funding resources that help people cope with diagnosis and treatment.
Last August, Victoria resident Susanna Tapp was diagnosed with breast cancer, undergoing chemotherapy and a mastectomy.
“There are definitely tough days,” said Tapp. “But there is hope. When you go through it there are so many people willing to help you.”
Tapp was introduced to InspireHealth by two friends who had used their services. InspireHealth is a supportive cancer care centre that offers individualized and group support. The services are offered at no cost to cancer patients and their loved ones.
“InspireHealth is invaluable. It is such a safe environment,” Tapp said. “They help you learn how to cope with the new normal.”
During her cancer treatments at BC Cancer Agency, Tapp also received exceptional care from the “kind, caring and understanding nurses who brought humour and laughter into a difficult time.”
The YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria offers Encore Breast Cancer Exercise Recovery, a free eight-week program to improve movement and flexibility for breast cancer survivors.
“After breast surgery mobility is really compromised so the water classes really help,” said Tapp.
Breast cancer can hit anybody and Tapp’s advice to others is to go see a doctor if you feel something different about your body. She said she procrastinated, leading the cancer to spread to her lymph nodes. Get it checked out as soon as possible.
“There is hope. Losing your hair is not the end of the world. Losing a breast is not the end of the world either,” said Tapp. “You really find out how much you are loved by your friends and family.”
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