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Patient Story

Selena's Story

"I'm so lucky to have cancer care like this in my community"

I remember when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I was 12 years old, and she had to go to a hospital in Toronto. My mom was just 32 years old at the time.  Strangely enough, that’s the exact same age I was when I discovered that I, too, had cancer.

It wasn’t until cancer struck my family again that I really came to realize how it has affected the lives of so many people I know and care about. I’m sure you probably feel the same way. I’ve also come to realize how fortunate we are now to have a state-of-the-art cancer centre right here in Durham Region. 

You may know from your own experience, the life-saving equipment in the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre helps save the lives of people you and I care about – every single day.  People just like my mom. You see, my mom’s cancer came back just a few years ago. One night she went to put on a necklace and found that it was too tight. When she felt her neck, she realized she had a lump there again. It turned out to be a tumour the size of a golf ball, and it had to be removed. This time, though, my mom was able to have her treatment close to home here at Lakeridge Health – and that makes a world of difference. I could visit her right after work – with ice cream!

For me, cancer began with a lump in my throat too. One day I realized that every time I swallowed, something hurt. And then I started feeling like I was struggling for air. An ultrasound revealed that there was a lump on my thyroid – just like my mom had. Then a biopsy showed that it was definitely cancer, and I needed surgery. In fact, it took two surgeries and doctors had to remove my entire thyroid.  That was followed up with radioactive iodine therapy. It was hard – even harder on my boyfriend and my family. But I also had a great support system – my friends, family and entire baseball team were all there for me.

Most important of all, my mom was there beside me every step of the way. I truly believe that my mom and I are both here today because of the great care we received while we were battling cancer. The hospital staff at Lakeridge Health were amazing. If I felt any pain, if I wanted water, they were always there within seconds to help me. My doctor, Dr. Julia Jones, gave me total confidence that I was going to be okay. I don’t know where I would be without my whole family and this hospital. I’m grateful to have them both in my life.

"I’m so grateful to have had this great care so close to home."

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