Some days Margo Nelson sits in her rocking chair, wraps up in a blanket and watches the Food Network.
Although she finished her chemotherapy on Dec. 30, she’s now on an anti-cancer drug once every three weeks for 17 cycles and one of the side effects is flu-like symptoms.
Nelson was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram discovered lumps in her right breast in May.
After the right breast was removed, she faithfully reported to G.R. Baker Hospital once a week for chemotherapy treatments.
However, in August, a lump was discovered in her left breast and surgery to remove her remaining breast was scheduled for Jan. 17.
“It doesn’t scare me,” she said.
“Its a relief to have the chance of reoccurence removed.
“I know what to expect.”
Once her body heals from that surgery, Nelson will endure six weeks of radiation in Victoria.
“I see this as a further method in preventing a re-occurance,” she said.
Nelson added the chemotherapy has definitely shrunk the tumour but said they wouldn’t know about whether it has spread until they check the lymph nodes.
With her immune system compromised by the chemotherapy treatments, the vivacious Nelson has found being isolated from the public (high risk of flu and other illnesses) has taken the biggest toll on her.
“December was rough,” she said.
“It’s such a social season.”
Nelson said her mental state is still extremely good and by keeping busy, she’s kept her optimism.
It was during a visit with her friend Sally Service, Nelson said she wanted to make a quilt honouring Margo’s Team, a group of women who participated in the Women’s Fall Challenge, a fundraiser walk and run for the G.R. Baker Hospital mammography unit.
She had several pictures she wanted to incorporate and Service, an avid quilter helped Nelson pick a quilt pattern and has continued to assist with the project.
However, finding a method of incorporating the photos became a challenge until the Sign Shop figured out a successful process.
The quilt is almost complete and Nelson is hoping to display it at Regency Chrysler, her former employer and sponsor of Margo’s Team.
After that it will have a place of honour in the Nelson home where Margo plans to show it off as often as possible.
With her second surgery only days away, Nelson is again relying on her very strong family.
“They’re doing well,” she said.
“As long as I stay positive, they stay positive.”
Nelson is grateful for the many people who have helped her on her journey and she’s had the chance to pay that forward in helping others diagnosed with cancer.
“We’re sharing an experience, we have a common bond,” she said.
“I’ve always been strong and that’s what’s kept me going, my inner strength.
“If you can get through this, you can get through anything.”
Team Margo is now planning on putting a team together for Relay for Life in May and she expects to be part of that as well.
Nelson is looking forward to getting back to many of the activities she enjoyed before her illness.
Activities such as swimming and exercising. But probably the most important activity is being able to interact with people and not fear catching something.
“I didn’t have to change my eating habits because I was already living a healthy lifestyle,” she said.
“This is just a bump in the road of life.”