Lisa Hall: diagnosed at 42 years old
I was at the most stressed of my life … or so I thought. I had 3 back-to-back miscarriages and my biological clock was ticking (in more ways than one). The week before my cancer discovery, I had also lost my job. Our entire team, that had become my second family, were being let go. It was a heartbreaking time.
I so welcomed my niece’s housewarming party to forget all the stress and just be with my family. We are Newfoundlanders, so we were partying until late keeping up with our reputation 😊
Around 1 AM, I had this inexplicable urge to go home. An urge so strong that it just couldn’t be ignored. I left alone. At 2 AM, alone in my bed, I did my first self breast exam in my life. Now, I know I was led by the hand of God.
I found a hard, fixed lump in my left breast. Without me realizing it, my cancer journey had begun.
Within a couple weeks, I got the call from my family doctor to come and bring someone with me. We all know that pit of the stomach feeling. I was diagnosed with a rare, deadly breast cancer called Metaplastic Carcinoma and it had already spread to other parts of my body.
I immediately fainted – one of the first times I recognized how the body beautifully protects itself when it is threatened.
Within a month, I was breastless, unable to have a family of my own, had lost the job that I adored and had a life-threatening prognosis at a young 42. The very core of me was shaken – no children, no career, no health and no ability to know how to cope and rise above it all.
I knew I was barely keeping it together and that I needed to calm my mind and body quickly. There was no way healing could ever come with the tension in my body, anxiety, sleepless nights and racing mind that played out every negative possibility over and over. I was frightened out of my mind and my body was feeling it.
Funny, how things appear when you really need them. My saviour came in the form of a coach who helped me find my bearings again, ease the fear and emotional trauma, control the relentless thoughts and focus my negative energy into my healing instead.
I refused chemotherapy although my doctors (19 out of 20) were adamant about it for such an aggressive, rare cancer.
It’s been almost 5 years since diagnosis and both my health and mindset are solid. The doctors now say that I made the right choices. I have all the things I dreamed but in unexpected forms – I got my family as a foster Mom of 2 sisters, my corporate career as an entrepreneur that helps others have more successful cancer outcomes and a renewed trust in my mind and body to define life in my terms this time.
Cancer has taught me that there are many forms of healing and the patient role can defy all medical odds.
Much love and healing.