Renee Singh was diagnosed with stage 2 Breast Cancer in the year 2017. She underwent left breast mastectomy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy as a part of the treatment. Her children and her husband were her primary emotional support. Renee says, “Awareness is a must. It is important that caregivers are aware of Do’s and Don’ts as Cancer journey is unpredictable”.
How it all began
My breast cancer journey started in February 2017. I was 37 years old when my husband discovered a lump in my left breast. My second born son encouraged me to go and have it checked at a local hospital. I underwent a scan which showed signs of an abnormal mass. In May 2017, after a biopsy, my diagnosis was confirmed, I had Stage 2 lobular carcinoma.
Met with Specialist
I met with a breast specialist and she educated me on my diagnosis and the plan moving forward. I was to have a left mastectomy as the cancer was aggressive. The surgical team did an exceptional job, I came out of theatre feeling more vibrant and having more hope than ever before. Though, the drains after surgery were challenging.
Treatment and its side effects
I was referred to an oncologist and my chemotherapy started in August. Chemotherapy is one of the hardest challenges a cancer patient can go through. The last of my treatment consisted of 31 consecutive days of radiation. Unfortunately, I was hospitalised for two weeks before proceeding further with radiation. It was thought that
I had swelling of the brain. I was put on very high doses of steroids. Once I was discharged from hospital, I continued with radiation. I woke up at 2am to get ready to leave home at 4:30am to have my daily radiation doses.
Chemotherapy and its side effects
Chemotherapy is one of the hardest challenges a cancer patient can go through.When I was administered chemotherapy, I had a tingling feeling throughout my body. I had severe nausea. I was always sick. I was fussy about the smell. I was not able to tolerate anything. The side effect of chemotherapy used to continue for five days after that condition stabilised.
Cannabis oil for pain management
Cannabis oil was very much helpful in pain management and inducing good sleep. I was not able to sleep due to pain and stress. I used cannabis oil and it help in in different way.
Breakdown is human. Cancer is such a horrifying word that it can create fear in anybody’s mind. I had a breakdown once. But then I controlled myself. I promised to myself that no matter how sick I felt I would not give up. Instead I would fight harder every second I am alive. I would not accept defeat against this cancer battle. My faith was ever-growing; it carried me through my treatments.
My family was my source of inspiration
My family was my source of inspiration. My three kids and husband gave me all the love, time and support I needed at this time. They gave me extra strength to fight the battle even harder than before. My family became stronger because I chose to stay positive and to never give up. I promised myself that no matter the challenges I had to face in this battle, I wouldn’t back down. Instead I would fight like a true warrior, becoming victorious on the battlefield. My positivity, faith and never-give-up attitude earned me a survivor’s crown today.
Life after cancer
Today I dedicate all my time, love and support to newly diagnosed patients. I strongly believe that your mental state of mind is obligated to staying positive throughout your cancer journey. Cancer isn’t a death sentence. So, you need to put your armour on and fight. You are never alone in this battle. There is a lot of love and support out there.
I have had the honour of being invited to various breast cancer awareness functions where I got to mingle with other survivors, share my story as well as encourage them. I’ve loved every minute of it!
Message for others
As long as we are alive, we must fight harder to overcome the storm. Live in every second, minute and moment in life.