My name is Millie, and I am a fifteen year stomach cancer survivor!
I was diagnosed on November 15, 2001 with Stage 3B Signet Ring Stomach Cancer and was told to put my affairs in order. My type of cancer at that time was labeled "juvenile and aggressive." The doctors explained that they had no idea how to even TREAT it, so they put me on the second highest levels of chemo and radiation treatments together and treated the cancer aggressively. I had a total gastrectomy with a surgical pouch made from my intestines and had high dose 5-Fluorouracil and Leukovorin chemotherapy followed by radiation.
Once the initial SHOCK hit, I slowly came to the realization that it was all now out of my hands. At this point I decided to LET GO and just follow the advice from doctors, oncologists, family, friends, and others and just LIVE as best I could with joy for each day of life left. I remained calm and even cracked jokes with my family, fellow patients, and the medical community treating me. This attitude seemed to ease the experience because I was not hanging on to the negative emotions that often accompany this experience.
It's been a long journey! Five years after treatments I forced myself back to work (against my doctor's orders) as an Admission Representative at a local business college. After about 1.5 years, my system completely crashed and doctors told me I was done. I explained to these doctors, "Never say you are DONE to a cancer survivor! I'm DONE in this career but starting another."
Following this I joined Toastmasters International and began learning how to be an effective public speaker. I have traveled to the U.S. to advocate for more funding for stomach cancer research and have told my story on a local news station in my home town of Langley, British Columbia
As I am a long time survivor, I try to help others by sharing information about this deadly disease. When possible I try to help answer questions and share information to help everyone learn as much as possible about stomach cancer
My dream? TO ELIMINATE STOMACH CANCER BY RAISING AWARENESS FOR MORE FUNDING FOR RESEARCH AND GRANTS.
Believe in miracles. I am living proof that they DO happen!