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					     Living with Breast Cancer -

            Our Personal Journey
                        Presentation for

               WIISOKOTAADWIN
          2nd Annual Health Conference
"Balancing mental, emotional, physical & spiritual health"
                        Kenora, Ontario

                      February 15, 2005

 At my 50th birthday party – January 31, 2005
                           “living with breast cancer”

Gabeanok –
     West Wind Woman
                                                  Born on my father’s trap line
Obishikokaang –
       Lac Seul First Nation                      Spoke Ojibway
                    “living with breast cancer”

           Residential School Experience – 1960 - 1973

                                           Pelican Falls –
                                             • started at five years old
                                             • attended for 6 years



Shingwauk –                                 Cecilia Jeffery –
    • started at 11 years old for 1 year     • started at twelve years old
    • my mother died while I was here        • completed high school in Kenora
“living with breast cancer”

             Family Gatherings
          Christmas 2004 in my home with
          some of my brothers and sisters



                                            My brother
                                            and sisters,
                                            1966
                                            (the last
                                            summer with
                                            my mother)



              Some of our kids
                and their kids,
               Christmas 2004
“living with breast cancer”




                        My Home
      • Living in Sioux Lookout with my husband, Brian
      • Raised 4 children, ages 27 to 17
      • 2 grandchildren, Alliah-6 and Jordan-2
                    “living with breast cancer”

               Kokum, Alliah
               (Lac Seul powwow)
                                         My Family
               summer 2004

                                     My grandkids (Jordan,
                                        Alliah, Jaylynn)
My kids (Stefanie, Clayton, Leilani,     summer 2004
     Serena) in summer 2004




                                                             My husband after one of
                                                             his wilderness canoe trips
                                                               (using Jesse Fiddler’s
                                                                version of the story)
“living with breast cancer”

  My Grandkids
                   “living with breast cancer”


                                                                 My Work
                                                                 Bii Waasaya
                                                               Residential School
                                                                Healing Project

                           http://raisingthechildren.knet.ca




http://piiwaseya.knet.ca         http://knet.ca/documents/Resiliency-Workbook.pdf
“living with breast cancer”

My Awareness about this disease




My involvement in fundraising
“living with breast cancer”

  My Personal Awareness of a problem

   • 10 years ago my family physician sent me
     for a mammogram in Kenora due to a
     suspected lump in my breast
   • at that time, my family went through lots of
     different feelings but the tests proved to be
     negative
   • Experienced a healing dream about colours
     and the healing ceremony
   • in June 2002, I had an operation to remove
     fibroids
   • I continued to work on physical fitness, diet
     and healthy lifestyle
                “living with breast cancer”

             My first sense of a problem
- In the early spring (2004) I felt something might be wrong
- I felt twinges and shooting pain sensations coming from my left
  breast
- I put it off dealing with these feelings because it seemed so
  infrequent and I was hoping that it would just go away
- I was very busy with work and my family resulting in me
  hesitating to get it looked into
- Finally made appointment in June when these experiences
  would not simply “go away”
                 “living with breast cancer”

My first appointment with my family physician
                 (June 2004)
-   I made an appointment for a physical examination in early
    June and got to see the doctor in late June
-   I received a referral for mammogram and ultrasound that had
    to done in Dryden where the nearest unit was located
-   There was little concern at this point because my breast felt
    normal, with a possible lump
-   there was discussions around menopause and my physical
    condition which seems reasonable to the physician
                “living with breast cancer”

         My mammogram and ultrasound
• mammogram on July 28/04
   • Mammography is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to
     provide a picture of the internal structure of the breast. The
     X-rays can show abnormal growths or changes in breast
     tissue before they can be found by any other method,
     including breast self-examination.
• ultrasound on Aug 4/04
   • Usually completed at the same time but for some reason
     this could not be done this time so we took two half days off
     work to travel to Dryden for these tests because there is no
     mammogram machine in Sioux Lookout
                 “living with breast cancer”

                My follow up appointment
- Family physician calls and requests an appointment to discuss
  results of mammogram and ultrasound
- At the Aug 10/04 appointment my family physician informs me I
  require a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation
- Doctor’s advice is very frightening and that evening I broke
  down while washing the dishes
- After telling my family what was said, I asked everyone to leave
  me alone so we each could sort through our feelings
- My family physician gave me a referral to see surgeon about the
  lump she felt required this treatment
      “living with breast cancer”

My first appointment with the surgeon
          He thought an non-intrusive biopsy would
          be adequate
           Normal breast with non–invasive ductal carcinoma in
           situ (DCIS) in an enlarged cross–section of the duct.

           Breast profile:
           A - ducts                                       B - lobules
           C - dilated section of duct to hold milk        D – nipple
           E - fat                      F - pectoralis major muscle
           G - chest wall/rib cage

           Enlargement:
           A - normal duct cells B - ductal cancer cells
           C - basement membrane D - lumen (center of duct)
                 “living with breast cancer”

                        My biopsies

•   First Biopsy - Aug 30/04 - small needle aspiration
     • Fine needle aspiration (FNA): Procedure that removes a
        sample of fluid and/or cells from a breast lump by means of
        a fine needle and syringe.

•   Call from the surgeon indicated that the first biopsy was
    inconclusive and a second larger sample would be required
•   Second Biopsy - Sept 28/04 - Core Needle biopsy
•   The lump and discomfort became much more sensitive after
    the second biopsy
                “living with breast cancer”

            MY NEWS from the surgeon
- Saturday October 30, 2004 – the Sioux Lookout surgeon called
  our home and set up the appointment for Saturday morning to
  discuss the biopsy results
- The test results have come back positive, meaning a decision
  had to be made concerning whether to have a lumpectomy or
  mastectomy
- Questions were asked and information provided concerning the
  choices and the different options available, in particular the
  option of going to Thunder Bay to access the new sentinel
  lymph node dissection
- Arrangements to see the specialist in Thunder Bay were made
                 “living with breast cancer”

           My family’s and friends’ reaction
- Sharing the news about the results of the tests was left up to my
  husband who began writing to family and friends about our
  experience
- Everyone began writing to me and sharing stories and providing
  encouragement as well as their feelings about the importance
  for me to win this battle
- Building a support system with my friends and family became
  an important part of trying to find out as much as possible about
  breast cancer
- I felt fortunate to have access to both information and the
  support I needed to get through this experience
        “living with breast cancer”
My family’s reaction to this news
I was stunned when I first heard, then I panicked. On the drive
home, I cried all the way, I was so scared! … Throughout this
whole experience, I've realized how important she is to our
family. She is our glue of the family and she lives in the centre
of our hearts. …
I was just scared and the thought of it hurt me just as much as
it scared me. Then everything seemed to happen so fast. … I
was just trying to be as brave as you are and as strong as you.
… I know if we believe it's going to work I know it will work. … I
know everything is going to be okay.
I did not want to cry in front of my mom, because I did not
want her to worry about me. … I knew that we all had to stay
positive. I know that my mom is a strong woman who could
overcome this. My mother has taught me everything that I
know. I feel as though she has prepared me for my life ahead.
     “living with breast cancer”

My family’s reaction to this news
  I have gone through the full range of emotions
  during these trying times. As a son, father, brother, I
  would give my life fighting for my family but this has
  been something that I cannot fight for you. This is
  but one of the feelings that I have had. … The
  family that you have created for us all is the most
  important thing of all to me. I see myself as being
  half of you and am proud to carry on all the things
  that you have to teach us. …I have looked within
  myself to pray for you. Praying is something that I
  do not do enough but it has led me to look more
  closely for that balance in life that we all need.
               “living with breast cancer”

                My alternative therapy
                         - learning about vitamins, hypnotherapy
                         - earth medicine
                         - ceremonies - healing songs, drumming
                         - Reiki treatment began



-Exercising
-Participating in activities
-Being outdoors
-Taking care of myself
          “living with breast cancer”

My visit to cancer specialist in Thunder Bay
                     November 16, 2004 – the surgeon
                     explained the process and
                     provided the available choices

                     Woman with modified radical
                       mastectomy

                     A - pink highlighted area indicates
                         tissue removed at mastectomy
                     B - axillary lymph nodes: levels I
                     C - axillary lymph nodes: levels II
                     D - axillary lymph nodes: levels III
 “living with breast cancer”

Traveling to Thunder Bay
      - Preparations to take the time off work
        and plan everything in preparation for
        the surgery was very challenging
      - On the day of departure, I was
        hesitating and feeling very anxious …
      - The women who had participated in
        various canoe-a-thons over the years
        organized a surprise PORTAGE as a
        means of support to help me on my
        journey
    “living with breast cancer”

            The surgery
-   Surgeon’s office made the arrangements to have
    all the preparatory work done the two days before
    the surgery
-   November 29 -ultrasound, chest x-ray, injection,
    bone scan to provide the baseline information for
    my condition
-   November 30, 2004 - appointment at Cancer
    Clinic to learn about the support services
    available
-   December 1, 2004 – Surgery to complete the
    mastectomy and Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection
 “living with breast cancer”

My recovery and after care
       -Home care nurse
       -Drain pump removal
       -Research about breast cancer including:
          -friends and family suggestions
          -Web sites
          -Support
          -Books
       -Healthy lifestyle (exercises and
       continuing my alternative therapies)
                 “living with breast cancer”

               My follow up appointment
- Arranged for appointment with family physician to get the results
  from the sentinel node dissection tests
- Feeling optimistic because the wound was healing well and I
  was feeling stronger
- December 17, 2004 – family physician was not available so a
  medical intern looked at the wound and went to see if the test
  results were available
- a second physician came in and broke the news that the
  majority of sentinel nodes tested showed positive
- I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach and collapsed
                “living with breast cancer”

        My appointment with the oncologist
- The local physician made the necessary arrangements for us to
  travel to Thunder Bay to meet with the cancer specialist at the
  Cancer Centre
- There was the sense of urgency from both the local physician
  and the oncologist that I met with on December 20
- The recommendation was to start chemotherapy as soon as
  possible and then afterward a six month treatment schedule to
  return to Thunder Bay for 3 weeks of radiation
- All there recommendations and treatments are based on
  statistics for treatments of breast cancer
     “living with breast cancer”

My visit with traditional healers
           December 27, 2004 – After meeting with
           the local chemotherapy nurse in Sioux
           Lookout to plan for the start of that
           treatment, I made the journey to visit my
           elders to seek direction from them about
           what had been going on in my life.
                “living with breast cancer”

      My consults with the medical system
-Surprise Sunday evening telephone call from the
oncologist concerning my decision not to do the
chemotherapy and radiation treatments
-January 10, 2005 - follow up meeting with my
family physician to discuss my decision, the
consequences and possible hormone treatment
                                                   Estrogen Receptors
-Received the Staging of breast cancer              are very specialized
information from physician                           protein molecules
                                                     that reside within
-Tamoxifen: blocks estrogen - a hormone              many cells of your
                                                            body.
necessary for the growth of some breast cancers
                “living with breast cancer”

                 My ongoing self care

-Traditional medicine routine
-Curves (early birthday present)
-Diet and exercise
-Traditional medicine
-Tamoxifin
-Vitamins
-Prayer and meditation
                 “living with breast cancer”

                       Feeling thankful
- Looking back over these past experiences that happened so
  quickly in my life is now helping me to be more accepting of
  what will happen in the future
- Today I am grateful to be here to share my story with each of
  you because in preparing this material, I have been able to
  once again relive an important part of my life
- As a woman, a mother, a grandmother, I understand the
  importance of caring for our bodies, as we care for our children
  and our children’s children
- I look forward to a healthy future, living each day with the
  support from my family, my friends and my work
       “living with breast cancer”

          Contact Information

Go out into the world today and love the people
 you meet. Let your presence light new light in
    the hearts of people. - Mother Teresa

                Lorraine Kenny
    Bii Waasaya Healing Project Worker
             Lac Seul First Nation
          tel: 807-582-3503 ext 243
               fax: 807-582-3449
       E-mail: lorrainekenny@knet.ca
   web site: www.raisingthechildren.knet.ca

				
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