About Me
I’m a photographer and a mom. Prior to getting diagnosed with cancer in March 2022, I had just begun venturing out into the dating world again. I was 35. I have 3 kids, ages 5-13, and am a creator by nature. My partner and I met only a month before my diagnosis process began, and I’m so grateful to her and my friends for supporting me through cancer! I’m pretty far-back east-coast Canadian, with mi’kmaq on my maternal grandfather’s side.

My Breast Cancer Story
As a young mom, I began experiencing a variety of hormonal and health complications a few years back, after years of consistently gaining weight. This resulted in me losing over 120 lbs very quickly shortly after being diagnosed with Pancreatitis, caused by a rare autoimmune condition. When I lost the weight, I noticed a lump at the bottom of my breast around 5 o’clock, and it was so far down and under, I would’ve never noticed it when I was heavier and my breasts were much larger.

For a while I assumed it was a fat deposit or cyst and ignored it, but the lump became painful, and I went to my doctor to have it checked. She said “cancer isn’t usually painful, I’m sure it’s nothing – and you’re young anyway” but she sent me for an ultrasound just to be safe. Within five minutes of that ultrasound, I knew it wasn’t a fat deposit or a cyst.

Within a few weeks, I had an ultrasound, a biopsy, and a followup appointment scheduled with a surgeon. My results came back as Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, and I began my cancer journey. After an MRI, we determined there were two masses in my right breast, and a lot of concerning calcifications on my left.

Due to the dense nature of my breasts, it was hard for them to tell, even with an MRI, so we decided the safest route was a bilateral mastectomy.

I was really on the fence about reconstruction, given all of my issues with autoimmune previously, but my surgeon assured me it was very rare to experience complications. Oh how I wish I’d done my own research into the rates of complications and implant failure! Within days of my bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, I was back in the hospital with a hematoma. I knew my body was having a severe reaction but it took months to convince my surgical team.

Finally, a year later I was able to have a bilateral explant, closing my chest flat and removing the implants. Immediately, I felt so much relief, my body was no longer in a state of infection and immune response, and the severe symptoms began to subside. I’ve been declared NED (no evidence of disease), and while there are a few things I would change if I could go back, I’m so grateful to everyone who supported us and loved me throughout this entire challenging journey!

I Want You to Know
YOU are in charge of your body, your research and your health. As much knowledge and education as the people in your healthcare teams have, they don’t know YOU or live in YOUR body! Listen to your instincts, and don’t be afraid to advocate or make decisions for yourself, even when they go against the grain!

With or without breasts, you are WHOLE and you are a BEAUTIFUL PERSON. So many of us are made to feel like we HAVE to opt for reconstruction to maintain our mental health, our femininity and our sex lives. It’s simply not true! Being FLAT can be just as whole, sexy and beautiful as any other woman, and accepting yourself for who you are while choosing a less-risky, less-invasive option, is ALWAYS SEXY!

Diagnosed at 35