Did You Just Say “Breast Cancer”?

shock Did You Just Say Breast Cancer?Although we still need to run some tests, I think it is clear to all of us that we are dealing with breast cancer.”

These words came from a man I barely knew, whom I had met just an hour before these words were spoken. This man is my breast cancer doctor. His words shattered my confidence and belief in my own ability to live forever. In a single moment, my life flashed in front of me, my plans for the future were called into question, and the happiness I had begun my day with was suddenly and completely overshadowed by these terrifying words.

Who am I, and why am I telling you my story?

My name is Sylvie. I am an ordinary 36 year old Canadian woman. I am the mother of three teenagers. I own my own business and my home is my office. After 12 years of being a single mom, I am getting married in a few days, to the man who is my soulmate, The One I have been waiting for my entire life. Until today, my future was bright and full of incredible promise. And now, I face an uncertain and frightening future.

I have been diagnosed with breast cancer

I will be using this journal to tell my story, to share the adventure with all of you, in hopes that my story will perhaps help someone else who may be struggling with this as well.

I know I am not alone. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year worldwide. I am told that the 5 year survival rate for women who develop breast cancer in their 30’s is much lower than for those in their 60’s. I am also told that the overall survival rate over a 20 year period is slightly over 50%.

These are terrifying statistics, and after posting this message, I plan to completely ignore them. I refuse to give them further thought or consideration. They are not important to my healing process. They can only serve to frighten me and make me question my resolve to survive.

Above all, this story is not about how I survived breast cancer. It is about how I beat the snot out of it. It is about the triumph over pain, tears and sadness I am about to go through. It’s about how I, and my family, stared into the face of fear and said “Get lost! I don’t DO fear!”

I decided to deliver my story in real time, as it happens, in this journal. This is my therapy, and my way of sharing the story in its raw, unedited form. It is my hope that other people who encounter difficulties can read this and gain strength from knowing that they are not alone.

It isn’t just for breast cancer survivors, and it isn’t just for women either. It’s a story of one woman’s experiences with life’s hurdles, and how ordinary people can become extraordinary heroes in just a few brief moments when life brings unexpected change. If you’re wondering, when I say hero, I’m not talking about me. I’m talking about the people in my life who are my heroes. I’m also predicting that there will be many surprise heroes along the way, people who seem to come out of the woodwork when they are most needed. People who would never call themselves heroes, but they are, nonetheless.

This is the story of how my life changed in one instant, and how I am going to make this new life better than it was before…

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61 Comments

  1. Ted and Kim said on:

    September 8, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    You know we love ya sweetie and whatever energy we posses is ALL YOURS on Monday!

    Love, Ted and Kim

  2. Jillian Wheeler said on:

    September 8, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    Hi, Sylvie,

    I’m a friend of Craig’s, and part of his mastermind group. I’ve heard so much about you over the past year, it feels as though you’re a friend.

    Thanks for sharing this process in such an open and courageous way — it’s a gift to other women and the men who love us.

    You’re in my prayers. I see you surrounded in Universal light, and vibrantly healthy.

    Jill

  3. Dr.Mani said on:

    September 8, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Sylvie, there are wHiners, and then there are wiNNers… and you most definitely are a WINNER!

    Years and years working in a professional capacity as heart surgeon with my special ‘winners’ — these amazing, very tiny little survivors — has given me a unique insight into taking lemons and turning them into something sweet, nice and fun to drink :)

    Where most folks would take the self-​​pitying “Oh, woe is me” route, you have looked on the silver lining — and turned it into an awareness builder to help others. More power to you!

    My own Heart Kids Blogathon — http://​www​.HeartKidsBlogathon​.info — kicks off in a few hours from now, and it seeks to honor the other heroes I work with by focusing attention on a battle they fight every day against an oft-​​ignored, yet deadly group of diseases/​defects — congenital heart disease.

    True, cancer is a shock. It’s bad when it happens to someone very close to you. Much worse when it hits even closer to home — and you are the ‘chosen’ one.

    But the good news is it is beatable. My parents both had cancer, almost 10 years back. Both are now fully free of the disease. It is a fight you WILL win — keep up the great attitude.

    And at your side, standing like a ROCK, you have one of the strongest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting — your loving husband, Michel Fortin. Both of you will be in my prayers and I look forward to hearing about your quick and complete recovery before long!

    Good luck, and all success

    Dr.Mani

    P.S. — Here’s a link that many visitors to your blog will find useful — it’s a video teaching correct breast self-​​examination.

    http://​www​.checkoutmybreasts​.com/

  4. Shiv Singh said on:

    September 9, 2006 at 6:18 am

    Hi Sylvie,

    You won’t remember me, but we spoke when the two of you came to the UK recently for the World Internet Summit. You were such an inspiration to us all. I want you to know that you can come through this.
    A colleague of mine was herself diagnosed some three years ago, and is now ok. Her story was just this week featured in the national press here.
    Visit this link http://​www​.thesun​.co​.uk/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e/0„11000–2006410482.html I hope it gives you added strength.

    Look forward to meeting the two of you again.

    Shiv

  5. Kimberly Spear said on:

    September 9, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    Sylvie,
    le coeur de la beaute’.
    ’Heart of beauty’
    That is the essence of who you are.

    The word ‘courage’ comes from coeur.
    “This is courage.. to bear unflinchingly what heaven sends.” Euripedes

    I see such beauty and courage in you. You will soar through this with
    the love and grace that you so freely give to others.
    You are truly an angel.

    Remember, He sees your heart and has sent you an angel.

    My prayers for you and Michel are continual. A day does not
    go by without a thought and a smile about you two.

    Thank you for all that you give.

    Kimberly

  6. Terry Davis said on:

    September 9, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    Sylvie,
    Its been a while since we chatted,but you are never far from my thoughts.

    You have inspired me since the moment I met you, you are one of the strongest women I have ever met, I’m having a hard time knowing the right words to say so I’ll just say…I know you are a survivor and a fighter and if anyone can beat this thing it is you!

    Dean and I are praying for you and we will be on Monday morning!

    Love,
    Terry

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us it will have a lasting impact!

  7. Barbara Eyre said on:

    September 9, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    Sylvie,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you for Monday.

    You are definately an inspiration to anyone going
    through any long term illness of any variety.

    HUGS
    Barbara

  8. Nell Taliercio said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 12:36 am

    You WILL beat this Sylvie. I know it in my heart. You’re such a strong woman and have so much to live for. My Grandmother had Breast Cancer well over 15 years ago (and had a mastecomy) and is healthy and going strong. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Debbie Campbell said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 8:32 am

    Dear Sylvie,
    I just received an email from your husband about your surgery. I wanted to send my wishes for peace and healing. May God’s blessings shine down on you and keep you strong and positive. I don’t know either of you personally but my heart goes out to you at this difficult time in your young life.
    Debbie Campbell

  10. Catalina said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 8:56 am

    Dear Sylvie,
    I’ m from Europe, Romania. So far, but yet so near. I’ ve seen your husband’s message, Michael Fortin ( I’m a copywriter– or I wanna be a good one!). I was impressed.
    I wish you all the best! And I hope you’ll have the strength to go on!
    God bless you!

    Catalina D.

  11. Tatiana Velitchkov said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 9:02 am

    Sylvie,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you today…
    You are a SURVIVOR and you will overcome this, I am sure of it!
    You are such a strong and beautiful woman that has so much
    to live for — your children, and your soul mate, and all that YOU
    ARE, and the rest of what you have in you to share with the world!
    Even if I don’t know you personally I feel so close to you and wish
    you a speedy recovery and all the love and success in the world!

    Warmly
    Tatiana V.

  12. Irene said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 9:19 am

    While most of the world is focused on the US today, some of us are focused on you & your family. My prayers go out to you and your family. I hope all goes well and you have many more years to bask in the love of your family. Irene

  13. Richard Bailey said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 9:23 am

    Keeping you in prayer and asking the Lord to continue supplying you with courage and strength. All things have a reason even though we don’t always see it or understand it right away. I feel that you will be a blessing to others — just as they will be to you.

    Richard

  14. Greg Thomas said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 9:28 am

    Dear Sylvie,

    On this day when we here in NY and the United States commemorate 9/​11, I pray that your operation is successful.

    I can only imagine that this disease must seem like an internal terrorist bent on destruction. But your indomitable spirit is at war with that invader called cancer, and based on what I’ve learned about you through your dear husband, and your own words on this blog, you will come out victorious!

    Know that you, Michel, and your family will remain in my prayers.

    Blessings,
    Greg Thomas

  15. Dale said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 9:54 am

    Sylvie, today’s the day you leap past a challenge. Days, followed by weeks, months and years of victory lie ahead. We’re in our ninth year since my wife, Mary Jo, faced breast cancer. Not a single complication in that period of almost a decade. We’ll pray the same for you!

    Look forward to a great weekend with you two at the Big Seminar in Atlanta.

    Philip Dale Smith
    “The Close-​​Knit Family Guy”

  16. Christopher Johnson said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 10:17 am

    Hi Michel and Sylvie,

    I just got your disturbing news this morning. Your thoughts and prayers from both Anne, myself and Sir Winston our white persian feline go with you. On an interesting note… I think you might find this a bit of encouragement if you are a Christian. In my eBook Daily Readings I read for today the readings for September 11, 2006 and these are some excerpts which really stood out to me as encouragement which I’ll share with you.

    September 11, 2006

    2 Corinthians 12:9
    My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

    Prov 23:4
    Do not wear yourself out to get rich; be wise enough to desist.

    Psalm 55:22
    Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

    Isaiah 9:2
    The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.

    Isaiah 9:6–7
    For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peacefor the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

    May you find this a blessing in your life,
    You’re in our prayers,

    Christopher, Anne and Sir Winston

  17. Sherri Diamond said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Sylvie,

    My prayers are with you and many others who are fighting and have fought this and other horrible diseases. I know many people who have been fortunate enough to find a product that came into my life and saved my mother’s life. Ironically, today, 9/​11/​06 which is the day you are having your mastectomy is also the 5 year anniversary of a horrible attack on the U.S., but also the 5 yr anniversary date of the patent given to this incredible natural product that was put on this earth by G-​​d (created from lava from volcanos mixing with sea salt). Sylvie, it removes heavy metals (only the bad ones) and toxins and other “substances”.

    Please feel free to email me at sherridiamond@​hotmail.​com so we can chat. I’m on a mission to help many, many people and this product has allowed me to start to do that. The website for some more info is http://​www​.zeoliteinfo​.com Feel free to share it with others too.

    How many lives can we affect? I know every man, woman, child and dog can benefit from this.

    My prayers are with you and your wonderful children and husband!

    Love,
    Sherri
    P.S. this can help take out the bad stuff they used during your procedure too!

  18. shahrir hj ahmad said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    Dear Sylvie,
    be brave in enduring what you are going through. The Almighty is putting a test on you to see how you can overcome it. Don’t feel that you are alone as we are all with you. Think of this test as a stepping stone to achieve greater heights. Different people go through different test. With patience and prayers, you will get through it safely.
    My prayers are with you.

    Shahrir Hj Ahmad
    ssshjah@​yahoo.​com

  19. John Ritskowitz said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Hi, Sylvie.

    I received Michel’s email this morning about your surgery, and I just wanted to tell you that both my wife and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! From Michel I have learned how strong of a person you are, and after reading your blog here I can see why. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting you in person, some day I will. I can see how happy you and your husband/​soulmate are together. And I can also tell that you are both survivors. I pray that the surgery goes well, and I take some comfort in the fact that you know you are not alone.

    Warmly,

    John Ritskowitz

  20. Pat Becker said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    There is a force in the universe that loves and supports you in all things. Be in the knowing of that love and in the love of the great universe of friends who are with you today and in the days to come as you recover.

    Grace,
    Pat Becker

  21. Jennifer Carter said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    Hello Sylvie,
    I wish you blessings, quick recovery and unending servings of that optimism that you seem to write with in your blogs. I am a subscriber on one of Michael’s lists and it’s heart-​​warming to read of and feel his love for you through his e-​​mails… and the subsequent love that you write about. Since we are all connected somehow, I am sorry that you are going through surgergy for the cancer…However, since we are all connected somehow, know that you have the strength and love of many many people surrounding you and speeding you toward fully recovering and continuing your life with this Man of Your Dreams. Take care of yourself and take care of your family. Thank you for sharing your experiences, fears and hope. I wish you the absolute best! Sincerely, Jennifer Carter p.s. Since I know that you’ve spent days and days researching the internet, perhaps you came across this. But in case you didn’t, please take a look at this brief article on Vitamin C drips and cancer cures:

  22. Adrienne said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Sylvie
    I wish you well on your journey.
    And I think it sucks.
    You will meet someone who can help you…very soon.
    And may I recommend Kineseology. (not sure how it’s spelt)!!

    Luv and hugs
    Adrienne
    New Zealand

  23. manuel said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    Dear Sylvie I speak only spanish, pero le deseo lo mejor en este trance, solo le pido a Dios todopoderoso que le ayude en todo lo que se pueda, con mucha tristeza me despido atentamente, Manuel, Santiago Chile.

  24. George Callens said on:

    September 11, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    Hi Sylvie,

    I’ve been following the posts from you and Michel. They’ve brought tears and even laughter to our eyes (Tu and I).

    I understand you underwent surgery today. I’m sure that getting it over with is a relief.

    I know the upcoming treatments will be hard maybe more so emotionally than physically. But with Michel by your side and with all your friends pulling for you I you’ll come through it a better person.

    Some people, me included, believe that an invisible force of nature can be directed from a group to an individual. This force can strenghten, heal and support both physically and emotionally. Some people call this prayer, others just look at it as harnessing an unknown force.

    Either way, that’s what we, your friends are doing for you now.

    We were with you in surgery and will remain with you throughout recovery.

    Don’t be afraid to lean on us in the future. We are here for both you and Michel. As I feel he needs us almost as much as you do.

    I’m looking forward to visiting, in person, with you in Atlanta!

    With Love,

    George & Tu Callens

  25. Gisela said on:

    September 12, 2006 at 12:09 am

    Hi Sylvie,
    We haven’t met, but I am a survivor of two breast cancers– the first 25 years ago, the next, ten years, so we have that in common. I have opted for alternative treatment, and have never regreted it. You have a great attitude, and optimal support, and I wish you the very very best.

    You have my very best wishes. I’m sure you will have a splendid recovery, because of your upbeat attitude. Sure, there will be good times and bad times, but the good one will prevail.

    Much love, Gisela

  26. Malachi said on:

    September 12, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    Although we don’t know each other and are unlikely to ever meet, I just wanted to send positive thoughts and feelings your way for a healthy recovery…

  27. Daniel said on:

    September 13, 2006 at 12:35 am

    A personal note:
    To the most Courageous Friend one can have; and I do?
    Dear Friend;
    As I have the greatest pleasure to call you my dear friend; these words are not being use lightly. However; has life propels us to other level, it bring with it more challenges and test, and sometime questions.
    When it come to you though; and my knowledge of your courage, it leave me with a wander……..not a question. The answer it is your story. NO WORDS CAN EXPRESS WHAT I AM FEELING RIGHT THIS MOMENT, but you will know.
    Sylvie; I have always believe we have a purpose here? For the many years we have known each other. You have been encouraging all to stand tall, even when you’re down……replacing pain with smile, giving of your self, and to list……it is endless, to day my friend I am standing with you, even at a distance.

    I must say it was one of the most difficult moments of my life when I open your email; you reminded me that on matter how bad we think our own life’s are, keeping touch is very important. So we do miss being there?

    My reasons for not showing up at your place, for with your announcement……..nothing I have to say or could say, could change what I feel today?

    I send you my love………with no words……. continue to be my dear friend; NOT allowing the norm to take control of you.

    Thanks you for the courage at price of your own pain.

    May the Angels of the East, West, North and South do their best to watch out while you rest and recover you to your BEST?

    Loving you always dear friend!

  28. Suz said on:

    September 15, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Sylvie,
    I’m a co-​​worker of Shiela’s in Boise. She shared your story with me and I felt my heart strings being tugged on — as I am a 3-​​time survivor — since 1989.
    By “Pookie’s” description of your inner strength, courage and humor, you’ll face this with much grace and dignity. You Go Girl!
    You have the right attitude, and I’m confident you will be triumphant in your healing. The strength you will be able to lean on from your family and friends will be the greatest gift of all — don’t be afraid to use it — it’s priceless!
    Best of luck, keep smiling and please continue to journal your thoughts.
    Suz

  29. Fran Klasinski said on:

    September 17, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    Dear Sylvie ( & Michel)

    Reading your story and the marvellous supporting messages here reminded me of my own challenge with Cancer.

    You are right to ignore statistics as they are based on a norm that seldom fits who we are.

    I had my bout in 1981. The prognosis was that I had five years at best. There were also recommendations that I undergo serious surgery to strip lymph nodes around my right arm, armpit and up my neck.

    I was so furious that this was my plight that I refused to do more than the surgery to remove the tumor. .

    I am here today because I simply told cancer to get lost and meant it. There was not room for it and me in the same body.

    Your strength and courage come from knowing who you are and what you want from life. You stick to your guns and you go girl.

    My deepest prayers for a speedy and successful recovery are being sent daily. While we have never met, we share the strength and courage to win. And win you shall as well.

    God Bless
    Fran
    Trenton, Ontario

  30. James Opiko said on:

    September 20, 2006 at 1:19 am

    I am a casual once in a while visitor to CopywritersBoard​.com and do receive updates from Michel regularly.

    I am touched by your courage.…really touched!

    Good Luck!

  31. stuvian said on:

    September 23, 2006 at 12:03 am

  32. Dale King said on:

    September 23, 2006 at 6:15 pm

    Hello Michel & Sylvie:

    I’ve never met you guys personally, but I’m looking forward to the day that I do.

    I anticipate that will be one of the happiest days of my life.

    You both exhibit so much class, courage and dignity.

    I have so much respect and admiration for you both.

    If I can ever do anything for either of you, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Best of luck to you both!

    Your new friend,
    Dale King

  33. Anthony Berry said on:

    September 23, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    Hi Sylvie
    I spoke to you breifly when you and Michel came to Wembley this year. I have read how strong you are and I am sure you will get through this testing time. Wealth is often measured in monetary terms. But I think when you are going through a tough time it is the love and support of friends and loved ones that really shows how wealthy you are. I can see from the list of messages above that you are blessed with wonderful friends, family and a husband. We should all treasure every moment we spend with the ones we love and care for.

    My catch friends to a staff network is stay powered up !!

    God Bless
    Tony
    London

  34. Judy Kettenhofen said on:

    September 23, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Sylvie –
    We’ve met, though you may not remember me (or maybe you will — there’re not that many women of my age and body type running around internet marketing seminars …:) ). I first met Michel in 6/​2005 at Galletti’s Internet Marketing SuperConference, and have run into the both of you subsequently at BigSeminar 6 and Underground II.

    I’m proud to know you, proud to see your courage and facing what the doctors and others may think is the worst thing that can happen to you — but you realize how much bigger you are than any disease. Sometimes the world, especially the medical world, does not always let you experience this, seeing you as a victim, instead of a victor. (So, I really like the name of your blog.)

    As someone trained in hypnotism — I know that the “trance” that the medical world puts folks in by such words as “diagnosis” and “prognosis” can be frightening and enfeebling. The recognition of the effect of receiving a less than positive diagnosis and prognosis from someone “in authority” is stressful — and that’s the LAST thing you need: stress has been shown scientifically to reduce the effectiveness of the immune system (they tested medical students right before exams, and right after exams.)

    I know it is a time of many decisions, and diversions from your expected plans — I know that there are many, many people out there giving you advice, telling you stories. And I know you will be careful about what beliefs that well-​​meaning people inadvertently try to give you, which are not necessarily beneficial.

    Bill Moyers did a series, I think it was called “The Healing Mind.” One of the segments of this series was done on a fellow in Bolinas, California — a McArthur Prize Winner — named Michael Lerner –and he runs (or has run) an organization named Commonweal. My father attended there after his diagnosis of prostate cancer. He ended up being one of his oncologist’s longest living patients — she even wrote him up in a journal. Lerner’s program is about investigation, learning, and, most of all, choice. I believe that my Dad lived as long as he did largely due to information and connections that he made in Bolinas.

    This is an area of intense interest to me: people’s mental control over their bodies and their health. It’s much closer than most people think; they don’t need to be yogis :).

    For you, and for your readers — a short reading/​media list:
    * Norman Cousins’ Books: “Anatomy of an Illness” and “The Healing Heart” are ones I’ve read. He has some other booksthat look good as well.
    Cousins was the editor of Saturday Evening Post and ended up on the faculty of the UCLA medical school because of these books and the accomplishments they describe.
    * O. Carl Siminton, MD & others: “Getting Well Again“
    * Andrew Weil “Spontaneous Healing“
    * Patch Adams, the movie

    Those are just starting suggestions — feel free to enjoy or ignore, as you wish (I’m writing this not only for you, but for othera who may read your blog…). If you find them interesting, feel free to contact me for further resources.

    Judy Kettenhofen
    Lighthouse Hypnotherapy & Health (no website at the present time).

  35. Don and Bea Williams said on:

    September 23, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    Sylvie, we share your city with you and Michel.
    All our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.
    From following Michel’s web site, news letters and blogs
    for several years, your introduction into his life brought forth
    such happy times for both of you, it must continue.
    God Bless!

  36. Pat Ginter said on:

    September 23, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    My thoughts are with you and wish you the best. With your positive outlook on life you will soon have this beaten and be living life to its fullest with your wonderful soulmate Michel!

    I would like to recommend a great health site to you
    http://​www​.curezone​.com this site is one of the top on the www.

    You both sound like great people and my thoughts are with you and your
    family.

    Look forward to getting to know you both better in the near future.

    Pat GInter
    Regina, Sk.

    P.S. Check out our site as we have an all natural energy drink that my finance’s mother has been drinking since her bout with cancer and chemo. She finds it helps her strength and energy levels.
    http://​www​.globaldirectnetwork​.com

  37. Keith said on:

    September 24, 2006 at 3:51 am

    Hi Sylvie, We met at this years London WIS and you impressed me by your zest for life and your eagerness to help others. But these qualities of yours run much deeper & are much stronger than when I witnessed them over those three days. You are an inspiration of how to tackle the rough times in life. Michel is amazing also. What a team!
    Keith

  38. Dave said on:

    September 24, 2006 at 6:25 am

    Dear Sylvie, I can’t provide any input on breast cancer, but I have survived lung cancer twice and know how the first words and ensuing thought stream affect you life forevermore.
    I can offer our prayers and a hope that your future with Michael is as great and long as you guys deserve.
    All our hope and love,
    Mary Ann and Dave

  39. gill said on:

    October 10, 2006 at 12:24 pm

    I adored your site. It raised me up and made me recall my sister’s victory. It has been almost 15 years since she fought her battle and came out healed.
    The lesson I learned as a sister was to be there as a pair of arms, a shoulder and some ears and to not talk talk talk and offer advice etc. It was a hard lesson cos we think we’re helping but in fact what the person wants is just to be held, heard and loved.

    God bless you.

    Gill

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  40. Julies Journal - just julie's journal said on:

    October 11, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month…

    It’s been just over a year now since I had my scare of having breast cancer, so I thought I would touch on the subject just a bit since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As scary as that was.…..

  41. Cathy said on:

    October 12, 2006 at 5:37 am

    As a subscriber to Sylvie’s Workaholicsforhire site, I’ve been inspired by Sylvie’s strength and determination in the work world. I get so much out of the site and feel pumped after reading it.

    Now that I’ve heard this news, I feel so sad. And yet I know that Sylvie is a strong, determined woman and once again I am truly inspired by her courage as she faces an uncertain future.

    My mother had breast cancer 10 years ago and I’m happy to say that she is cancer free today. The prognosis is so much better now than years ago with earlier detection and better treatment.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband Michel. Take care.

  42. Shane Pettman said on:

    October 13, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    Hey Sylvie I wish you all the best on your journey to victory. I would like to leave some inspiration. First i have said a prayer for you. Second i would love to leave some great resources for you to check into.

    The first one is http://​www​.thesecret​.tv you may have already watched this but what a great triumph over breast cancer Cindy Goodman had. Also the work on healing from some other fellow Canadians at http://​www​.thehealingcodes​.com AMAZING stuff.

    From the bottom of my heart and one Canadian to another GOD BLESS YOU.

  43. Laura Strebel said on:

    October 14, 2006 at 7:49 pm

    Sylvie,
    I’ve been a curious reader of the Workaholic’s website for a little while and when I went on today, I read your news. First of all, congratulations on your wedding. Finding your soulmate is no small accomplishment. Second, October 6th was my one year anniversary of finishing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. I’d had a mastectomy in March and finished radiation treatments in January of this year.

    I wish I could say that we’re part of a very small group but that is not the case. However, there are more and more long term survivors. I plan on being one and I’m confident that you will also. Although you don’t know me, I would like to offer any advise, consolement, encouragement that I can. Sometimes someone unknown that has already been down a certain path, can be just what one needs. I know. I met some wonderful friends as I was traveling that path such a short time ago.

    Incidentally, make sure you get a copy of the pathology report of your surgery and keep a copy. You will need it to refer to as your treatment progresses. I was told this bit of information when I first started and found it was invaluable. (It was suggested by a male victim of breast cancer. It’s not just a women’s disease.) Also, check into clinical studies. I was in one for white blood cell treatment during chemotherapy and it really helped. Please feel free to ask me any questions or just to vent. Welcome (?) to the BC Sisterhood.

    There is an excellent chat and medical information site for survivors and caretakers of Breast Cancer. It’s breastcancer​.org and it’s wonderful! Any question you may have can be answered by any number of people that have gone through the same thing.

    I will follow your blog as you step into this new world and wish you all the happiness with your hubby and success in the future.

  44. Marjo and Chuck Norlin said on:

    October 17, 2006 at 10:14 am

    Hi Sylvie,

    You have it right going in,
    POSITIVE ATTITUDE! PA prevails in all things of life.
    FOCUS-​​on the cure, not the disease.
    PURPOSE-​​attention to survival, not yielding to the cancer. DETERMINATION-​​to do your best each day, regardless of what is happening to you and around you.
    PRAYER-​​yours and everyone in the world who will join your personal prayer chain, thousands of us.
    LOVE-​​loving everything with an open soul.
    COMITTMENT-​​to the success of your adventure and a positive outcome. CONTROL-​​unbending and unyielding to this mean little critter, you are in charge now, today, and every day after-​​FIGHT BACK!

    We will hold you in our prayers, and when you need a gentle touch or a soft hug, reach out and take one, whenever, always, there are millions of them everywhere just waiting for you.

    M/​C

    May God bless you and yours moment by moment.

  45. Andrew Golden said on:

    October 23, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you deal with it.” You’re a clear example of this.

    Godspeed.

  46. Kathy Sugio said on:

    October 30, 2006 at 12:18 am

    I like that…“Get lost FEAR!” I’m trudging along on my breast cancer treatment /​ management journey and find much inspiration in your postings. Best wishes for smooth sailing and many many happy and healthy years ahead.

  47. ann marie chamberlain said on:

    December 9, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    I will be cancer free for one year on december 12, 2006. I was stage 3 with a 2cm lump was told I would lose my left breast no matter what. Went through 8 chemo treatments the last 4 being the worse but got through it. Worked the whole time too as you are. One week after last chemo they could not find the lump I did have surgery dec 12 but just to take the area and nodes in that area out. That came back clean no cancer!! Cancer can be a killer but YOU can change that by FIGHTING always be positive in your thoughts even when you feel like crap fight. Yes you can cry but after that go back to fighting your battle for life. Your very young and have a lot to live for go for it!! As one who has been there and done that it’s worth it feel free to contact me. Keep doing what you are it’s working and I will add you to my prayer list as other did for me. FIGHT!!

  48. phyllis foster said on:

    January 13, 2007 at 12:17 am

    I too am a breast cancer survivor I am into my third year now. Keep positive. Your friends and family will support you and love you in your battle. You will win. God bless.

  49. Barb Rosier said on:

    February 12, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    I am a breast cancer survivor and I am in my 15th year. I am proud to share my experience with all. It has made me a more positive and confident person.

    I met you, Sylvie, at Big8 Seminar in Atlanta and I clicked with you “immediately.” You are a beautiful person and you ARE winning your battle.

    GOD bless you always,

    Barb Rosier

  50. Bandee Adler said on:

    March 11, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Sylvie–
    I’m so glad I found someone who has the same attitude as me — I received my diagnosis on my son’s 6th bithday, December 21, 2006. I have had my surgery, have started radiation & should start chemo in a few weeks. (I’m in a couple of studies on early-​​stage BC which is why my radiation is first). I have 3 kids of my own & can tell you that I have absolutely no time at all to give to this disease. I will not even give it the time of day.
    I don’t know where you are from (your name sounds like you could be from Montreal??) If you are, please e-​​mail me back — it would be nice to have a woman friend who I can share this with! Good luck!!

  51. Brandee Adler said on:

    March 11, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Sylvie–
    I’m so glad I found someone who has the same attitude as me — I received my diagnosis on my son’s 6th bithday, December 21, 2006. I have had my surgery, have started radiation & should start chemo in a few weeks. (I’m in a couple of studies on early-​​stage BC which is why my radiation is first). I have 3 kids of my own & can tell you that I have absolutely no time at all to give to this disease. I will not even give it the time of day.
    I don’t know where you are from (your name sounds like you could be from Montreal??) If you are, please e-​​mail me back — it would be nice to have a woman friend who I can share this with! Good luck!!

  52. Leah said on:

    May 7, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Sylvie

    I came across this site as I was nosying at your hubs webspace which I came across while nosying at someone elses. I’m a member of his CW board.

    You are a brave lady, one of many who have contributed their stories here. I had a near brush with cervical cancer myself May last yr. Fortunately it was Pre-​​cancer not cancer cancer. Check-​​up annually now for 10yrs.

    I wrote a blog (far back in the archives) on http://www.myspace/theoryofr, you and the ladies here may relate to called ‘Fear of death– who do you talk to’.

    It’s something I couldn’t really share when I was ‘in it’ but as you say the writing helps a lot to externalise those feelings and keep them at a nice safe distance.

    Anyway, I wish you and your family all the best, and take it easy.

    Leah x

  53. The Power of Pink -image- Blog to Survive said on:

    May 26, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    […] “Hi, my name is Sylvie and this is my breast cancer survivor story. Initially therapeutic, I soon realized how telling my story inspired so many in creating breast cancer awareness. If it’s your first time here, read my first post to appreciate my story. “Click here to r […]

  54. Evelyn Khoo said on:

    June 14, 2007 at 1:06 am

    I am also a breast cancer survivor…your site is very helpful and inspirational .. I am looking forward to a new day every night..Life is now great after the long and tedious fight against my bc.. I can’t believe myself that I am a proud dragon boat rower at my age.I will most certainly visit your site when I am online.God Bless.

    xxxx…Evelyn

  55. Sister Study said on:

    June 22, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    How would you like to make a difference in breast cancer research? The Sister Study needs your help to determine if breast cancer is caused by something women come in contact with at work, at home, in their communities or in the personal products they use.

    The Sister Study is looking for 50,000 women to help discover the environmental and genetic causes of the disease. Women ages 35 to 74 are eligible to join if their sister (living or deceased), related to them by blood, had breast cancer; they have never had breast cancer themselves; and they live in the United States or Puerto Rico.

    ENROLL TODAY or simply help spread the word to women in your community! Either way, you can help find the causes of breast cancer!!

    For more information visit http://​www​.sisterstudy​.org or http://​www​.estudiodehermanas​.org. Call toll-​​free 1–877-4SISTER. Deaf/​Hard of Hearing call 1–866-TTY-4SIS.

  56. Jennifer said on:

    October 4, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Hey! You have a brave story and thank you for sharing it. As a community, we can all help out and make a differences. Especially now that it is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, we can all do our small part. Contribute to a charity, volunteer for an organization, help friends and family, go that extra mile! I donated some money to my favorite BC organizations at Respectance, which fortunately has no service charge, and I encourage you all to help in any way possible. This is the month to take a step out of the door and do something positive that will make us all feel better.

  57. Janna said on:

    May 6, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Good afternoon, Силвия!!!!!
    You the heroic woman! I up to depth of soul was shaken with your self-​​control in this situation. The god will necessarily renumerate you to optimism and skill to be sensitive and to other women who can appear in the same situation.
    You do very much an important issue! I have learned about you casually, studying materials of your husband about a copyright. Also I write to you because it is admired by you and your business!!! Continue to write even when absolutely recover! It is necessary for people! To Maine call Jeanne, I from Russia and at us in the country a problem of a cancer of a breast cost also sharply as well as all over the world. In my life there is one vivid example connected with this disease. The sister of my mum was ill with a cancer of female bodies and after химеотерапии and various procedures, the doctor has told to relatives what to live to it remains about six months. But the aunt with it is not agreed, at it character was such. It continued to live usual, very intensive life of the simple Russian woman. And illness as though was frightened… Also has receded. Doctors did not trust it, but the aunt has lived 27 more years and has died of an old age in the age of 87 years And I trust, that if the person continues to live thinking not about illness, and that ahead still is a lot of years of a life, and this life so is necessary to many people. The Soviet writer Nikolay Ostrovsky has very well told about it: ” the Most dear at the person is a life. It is given to it once, and to live it it is necessary so that was not painfully sick for aimlessly lived years that did not burn down a shame for подленькое and the petty past and that, dying, could tell: all life and all forces have been given to the finest in the world — to struggle for clearing of mankind ” Happiness to you and the health, dear!!!!
    Excuse if it is written стилистически not precisely, I to the shame do not know English language.

  58. Daniel said on:

    October 4, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Sylvie,
    I was wondering if you might be willing to promote a great cause in your blog. It is an innovative fundraising effort intended to raise $3 million for cancer research, called “The Big Bundle”.

    ABC News just covered this initiative… http://​bit​.ly/​A​B​C​_​N​e​w​s​_​T​h​e​B​i​g​B​u​n​dle

    Cancer affects nearly everyone, yet in economic climate, people are finding it difficult to donate.

    TheBigBundle​.com makes it easy for everyone to do his or her part. In return for a $29.99 donation, consumers get $700 worth of freebies. Consumers get products (e.g., TrendMicro AntiVirus, Zagat, Snapfish, etc), services (Skype, GoDaddy, TripIt, etc), and discounts (Hotels​.com, Gap, Lancome, Nordstroms, etc) from 32 companies.

    If you could write about this, it would surely help the cause!
    Thanks Sylvie,
    Daniel

  59. Leonore Dvorkin said on:

    November 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Nov. 13, 2009 /​ Denver, CO
    Dear Sylvie,
    I’m not even sure who first told me about this site, but I’m glad I found it. My very best wishes to you for future good health! Stay strong. Thanks to all the rest of you who wrote, too, with such caring messages. Those are very important to cancer patients.
    I’m now 63, and had a left-​​side mastectomy (no reconstruction) in 1998, at the age of 52. The experience was so significant and life-​​changing for me — mainly in good ways — that I wrote a whole book about it.
    That book has now been re-​​issued. It’s ANOTHER CHANCE AT LIFE: A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR’S JOURNEY (Norilana Books, 2009), by Leonore Dvorkin. It will also come out in Spanish in 2010. The paperback is only $9.95, and just $8.95 to Barnes and Noble members on http://​www​.bn​.com. I hope you will check it out. It covers my personal medical details, the emotional benefits I gained, my philosophy on dealing with any of life’s larger crises, and much more. It also contains some 40 pages of appendices that cover risk factors for breast cancer and a lot more.
    Details are on my website: http://​www​.dvorkin​.com
    You can see the cover (I took the cover photo), my photo, review quotes, excerpts from the text, and more.
    Thanks to all who read my message, and good health and happiness to all of you!

  60. Leonore H. Dvorkin said on:

    October 23, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Oct. 22, 2010, Denver
    Hi, everyone! Leonore Dvorkin here again, to tell you that my breast cancer book (Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Journey) is now available in both print format from Norilana Books (on Amazon and Barnes and Noble) and in e-​​book format from Smashwords​.com. Very soon, it will also be available in e-​​book format for the Kindle from Amazon. The e-​​books are only $2.99 per copy.
    Also, I have a 4,000-word essay in Beverly Vote’s new book, How We Became Breast Cancer Thrivers. It’s a collection of 44 essays by breast cancer survivors. See my website, http://​www​.dvorkin​.com, for details.

  61. Tory said on:

    October 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Dear Sylvie,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was eighteen years old when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a long journey for the whole family. I appreciate your spunk, sense of humor and determination. I look forward to more.

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