“I felt the first lump in my armpit,” recalls Phyllis, who will never forget the day her cancer journey began in 2005. “I searched further and found another lump in my left breast.”
After consulting with a physician at a walk-in clinic in Burlington, Phyllis was referred to Juravninski Hospital and Cancer Centre, where she began treatment for breast cancer.
“It was frightening to receive the diagnosis,” she says, “but I was never one to feel sorry for myself. I knew I had to push on and move forward with my life.”
Phyllis underwent a modified radical mastectomy, along with three months of chemotherapy and 30 radiation treatments. That was followed by a year of medication to prevent future recurrences of breast cancer.
“The treatment was very hard on my body and I lost all my hair. However, the treatment proved successful and the cancer has not returned.”
Phyllis felt like she had been given a second chance at life. Ever since she was a young girl, she had dreamed about visiting Egypt. After finishing her cancer treatment, she decided to turn that dream into a reality and take the trip of a lifetime. After visiting Egypt, Phyllis went on to visit many other countries such as Thailand, China, Kenya and Tanzania.
“I can look forward to seeing my grandchildren grow up.”
Unfortunately, her journey with Hamilton Health Sciences was not over yet. In late 2016, Phyllis started to experience pain in her left arm. After visiting her local hospital in Burlington, she was transferred to Hamilton General Hospital.
“I’d suffered a heart attack,” she explains. “They couldn’t insert a stent because there was too much plaque in my arteries, so I underwent quadruple bypass surgery. I’d been in Mongolia just a few weeks before, so I was lucky to be home when I had the heart attack.”
In the weeks following the surgery, Phyllis slowly regained her strength and energy. She was soon back on her feet and ready for more globe-trotting adventures.
“Receiving such wonderful care for my cancer and heart attack means everything to me. Thanks to the amazing people at Hamilton Health Sciences, I can look forward to seeing my grandchildren grow up. I encourage people to support The Foundation with donations to help patients like me when we need it most.”
This holiday season, you can give the greatest gift of all – the Gift of Health. Donate today.