Anne Peterson

"I am living proof that fundraising for women's cancers WORKS. The procedure used to detect my cancer was not available 10 years before my diagnosis. I was so fortunate to have received such wonderful care in Calgary, and I am determined to do what I can to be a part of the process of finding the cure for all women's cancers."


November 2, 1975 was the worst day of my life. That day, I lost my mother to breast cancer. I was 16 years old and my sister was 13. My mother was 46 when she lost her battle. By the time my 46th birthday rolled around, I had been having annual mammogram screening for several years; however, as that date approached, there was an anxiety hanging over me that I just couldn’t shake. I wanted desperately to get past that year with a clean bill of health.

Unfortunately in June of 2005, after a routine mammogram, I heard those words that we all fear. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The “good news” was that it was a very early stage cancer. I had had many years to think about how I would react if that day ever came, so it was without hesitation that I instructed my doctor to proceed with bilateral mastectomy surgery.

Following my mastectomies and reconstruction, I underwent genetic testing for BRCA markers. After waiting almost a year, I received the news that I have the BRCA2 gene. I then made the decision to have a total hysterectomy, since the marker suggests possible links to gynaecological cancers as well.

I have now had everything removed that I possibly can! :) This June will mark 5 years since my diagnosis and initial surgery. I feel wonderful, and I am more fit that I have ever been. I want to be here to watch my daughters grow up, and I want to participate in fundraising for this worthy cause so that my girls, and others like them, don’t have to go through the mental, emotional, and physical stress that I have felt.

I am living proof that fundraising for women’s cancers WORKS. The procedure used to detect my cancer was not available 10 years before my diagnosis. I was so fortunate to have received such wonderful care in Calgary, and I am determined to do what I can to be a part of the process of finding the cure for all women’s cancers.


Anne Peterson, Alberta Walker

 

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