Sonia’s job as a medical secretary means that she has something of a matter-of-fact relationship
with illness, although she was initially extremely shocked by her diagnosis.
“I received the news on a Friday in August 2013, and I burst into tears immediately. I wasn’t ready to tell my daughters and my mother, who also lives with us, immediately – I needed to process it. I knew they would have so many questions, and to help them understand I would need to know more myself,” says Sonia. Sonia’s treatment journey for an aggressive tumor in her right breast began weeks later, and after four intense chemotherapy sessions, she eventually had a mastectomy in January 2014, followed by further chemotherapy and radiation. Sonia says she is impressed with Miladys silicone breast forms and finds them really comfortable and convenient to use. “I am so pleased that the new breast form both looks and feels like my breast. It is so much lighter than any other prosthesis I’ve worn, so there is no strain on my shoulder,” says Sonia. Now in her seventh year of remission, Sonia credits her family and her faith for the strength she had in the face of cancer. She is now a passionate advocate for the power of sharing one’s story as part of the healing journey. “Early on in my journey, I met a much older woman in the hospital who had undergone a mastectomy many years previously. She showed me her scars and talked me through so much – her message was that ‘there is life after cancer and it was so powerful. I’ll never forget her,” she says. “I had such amazing support from the people around me, from my boss who is a neurosurgeon through to my family, of course, and my church community. My faith is very important to me and that was a huge part of my recovery,” says Sonia. “Something I always say to people is, ‘We often feel like we need to say something when someone has been diagnosed or has had surgery or treatment, but sometimes it’s just your presence that someone needs’. If a person wants to talk, let them. But if they don’t, that’s alright too.”