A woman in southwestern Manitoba says she’s never been so lucky as when she found out her cancer has been diagnosed and that she had a treatment that would be the most effective in her lifetime.
“I was like, ‘Okay, well, I can probably give it to somebody else,'” said Marissa Nalder, the founder and CEO of The Cure Cure, which provides cancer treatment and other support to cancer patients.
“It’s just like, just give me that pill.”
Naldrers diagnosis of terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma in April has been announced by Health Canada as one of the “newly identified rare cancers.”
It’s a rare cancer that usually affects people over 50 and usually progresses slowly and has no cure.
In Nalds case, she received treatment and was told she would have about three months to live.
That meant she was now about three weeks from the moment she learned her cancer had been diagnosed.
She and her husband were able to start the process of going through the process again and getting on with their lives.
But for some people, the news of a diagnosis like hers can be devastating.
For Nalders, her diagnosis was devastating.
“People have to have the courage to say, ‘Hey, I am not a good person and I will do better,'” she said.
Naldar’s story is just one of many that highlight the importance of being a cancer survivor.
“For a lot of people it’s very, very hard to be alive,” said Dr. Scott Stirling, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Manitoba.
“And it’s a really tough situation to be in.”
He said that people who were diagnosed with cancer at a young age are often treated differently than those diagnosed later in life.
“The key is not to put a negative stigma on it, it’s to say to people, ‘Here’s what we’re doing.
We’re going to be able to help you, we’re going see if there’s a treatment available and if so, we can take care of you,'” he said.
“If it’s not, we don’t have to.”
Stirling said he and his colleagues have seen some success in treating survivors in a way that’s not as invasive as in other treatments.
“We do it with acupuncture, we do it in combination with laser treatment and we do all kinds of things that really try to bring about a cure,” he said, adding that most people recover better than they would have from surgery or radiation treatments.
However, Naldalers and other cancer survivors in the region have their own challenges.
They are often reluctant to talk about their experiences with the cancer, or about the other treatments that are available.
They may not have the money to afford treatment themselves, or they may be afraid of being stigmatized.
In fact, there are no clear guidelines around how to deal with cancer survivors who are not ready to be interviewed.
Nallyders case, however, has spurred the Canadian Cancer Society to set up a website where cancer survivors can share their experiences and learn about the process.
“Cancer survivors have been really, really good advocates for this information, and we’re really happy to see this really get out there,” said Stirling.
“A lot of it is just a matter of people finding the courage, finding the confidence to speak up, and doing the right thing.”
He noted that there are a number of ways in which cancer survivors, like anyone else, can help their communities, and that some cancer survivors have done just that.
“These are the people who really make this work,” he added.
Nalyders story is one of those stories that will never die, she said, and she wants to continue to inspire others.
“To be able be there for other people who are going through what I am going through and having the courage and the knowledge and the ability to go through that and then being able to say ‘OK, I’m going to do better.'”
For more information: The Cure is a non-profit organization that helps cancer survivors by providing financial support and providing a support network for those living with cancer.
For more info: www.thecurecure.ca