About Me
I was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. I have 2 sons and have been with my husband for 20 years. I am first generation Canadian of two hard working immigrants. I am half Laotian, Vietnamese and French. I am 37.

My Breast Cancer Story
My husband felt a lump in my breast in the spring of 2021. It was during peak COVID times and so my diagnosis took 5 agonizing months. My initial mammogram couldn’t detect my tumour even though it was 2 cm. Apparently, I had very dense breasts and so an ultrasound followed. I ended up needing 2 biopsies and was the youngest woman in the waiting room each time. At every appointment I had, I was told “not to worry, there’s no family history, you’re too young” etc… but in my gut I knew it was serious.

Over the next 9 months I had multiple mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, and at least 80 needle pricks. It felt never ending, and I had to endure all of my treatments alone because of COVID. By the time I had my first surgery it was 8 months after I found the lump. It had grown from 2cm to 5cm and could be seen through a shirt. I had a lumpectomy with reconstruction followed by 8 rounds of dose dense chemo, 15 sessions of radiation and a total hysterectomy all by the age of 37. My lumpectomy revealed that not only did I have a tumour that was invasive ductal carcinoma but also a smaller one that was ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

My oncologist revealed that I probably had this tumour for a few years already, but I would still be 13 years away from annual screening. I don’t know if I would still be here if I waited any longer. I’m only 2 years into my fight, and I have a lifetime to go. Please get checked.

I Want You to Know
Young women of colour are not represented when breast cancer is being discussed. It can happen to anyone, if you have breasts, you can get cancer. I was 35 years old, active and healthy. I ate a balanced diet, worked out 3 times a week. Live your life to the fullest because it can change in an instant. Don’t be afraid of a mammogram! Women go through much worse things.

Diagnosed at 35