Leslie Groulx

"I discovered a lump during a self-examination in the fall of 1999. I was only 41 years old at the time. I wasn't too concerned, as I wasn't really aware of breast cancer. Within a month I was having surgery. My daughter was 14 and my son was 11. My only focus was to survive for my children."

 

I discovered a lump during a self-examination in the fall of 1999. I was only 41 years old at the time. I wasn’t too concerned, as I wasn’t really aware of breast cancer. Within a month of seeing a doctor I was having surgery. A month after that I was having chemotherapy - four rounds of the nastiest stuff one could ever imagine putting into their bodies. Then this was followed by a second surgery and 7 weeks of radiation.  My daughter was 14 and my son was 11.  My only focus was to survive for my children.

Chemotherapy was not my friend. Each time I underwent a treatment I spent several days violently ill – no matter how many anti-nausea drugs they pumped into me. Having six sisters and three brothers was a blessing through this “adventure,” as they were always there for me and my family. In the end I am thankful that there was the means for me to be able to have chemotherapy and the other treatments available to me. Surviving was my only choice. 

My original shock at my diagnosis quickly turned into determination to make a difference. In 2008, I joined a team for my first Weekend. Along with a dear friend, I walked the 60kms and was most inspired by this accomplishment. 

This coming year, I will be very fortunate to be celebrating 11 years cancer-free. Even today, I can still close my eyes and feel the fear that was part of my life in those months following my diagnosis.  I continue to commit myself to raising money to help find a cure so that others do not have to endure a life with breast cancer. On August 13 and 14, 2011 I will take on my FOURTH year walking in The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. This year I will walk with my sister Starr and friend Sheila. Our team, "Clearwater Peaks" is recruiting members so don't be shy and join us on this great walk through the most beautiful parts of Vancouver.

I will carry with me in memory my good friend Barb Floen, fellow chemo-mate Eileen McKinnon and Peg Volkers, and not joining me but with me in spirit will be friend Linda Selbee. I will walk to raise money to assist breast cancer research to prevent the special people in my life and yours from having to face this disease.

Today, 11 years later, I can say that without all the research and support due to great events like The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, I may not be here. 


Leslie Groulx Clearwater, BC

 

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