I am a survivor! My life struggles include a mastectomy with capsular contracture, infections, hysterectomy, reconstruction, oophorectomy, thyroidectomy, 20+ surgeries, and countless tests and hospital visits. Also, the Inability to work. Taking all my stuff in a couple of garbage bags, leaving an unfaithful ex with my dog by my side, begging my mom to let me stay in her living room. Having just had thyroid surgery and absolutely no revenue. Having a doctor tell you that need to have both your breast removed at 22 years old, the same week you had surgery for a stage 2 melanoma and having a bunch of sentinel lymph nodes removed from your thigh. A lot to deal with and all while that while finishing my bachelor’s degree in social work. These are some of my life struggles, though there are many more. I often wondered how I would ever feel calm and look forward to an optimistic future.
October 2015 I received an email that would change my life forever. A young, handsome man diagnosed with Cowden’s syndrome in Ottawa. He had questions. He wanted to connect with a fellow PTEN patient. He searched on the internet and found my face on a newspaper article, alongside my canine partner in crime, Bambou. I think he knew at that time something I didn’t. He was looking at his future family. He contacted the journalist who gave him my email. The rest is history. We connected in a way I couldn’t be with anyone. He made me feel whole again, with the scars, the chronic pain, my university diploma sleeping somewhere in my closet, my fear of the future. Sacha made me feel I was worth it. We understand each other and have a great deal of fun together. I met the man I am going to marry, and we are one in 400 000.
I can safely say I have learned to live my best life with my best friend by my side. I am happy with what I have, and I look forward to a long future together.