Learning To Strive And Thrive In A New Reality

By Cancer Foundation on May 27 / 2020

[Cancer Coaching, Families, Uncategorized]Comments

“To have Cancer Coaching available in my own backyard is invaluable. It’s helped round out my healthcare team. I’ll be forever grateful to the donors who made it possible.” – Sherry Wee Baker 

One of the biggest emotions Sherry Wee Baker has experienced since her cancer diagnosis is gratitude…and much of that gratitude is for people like you.

“There aren’t enough words to thank everyone who supports the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation,” she says. “Thanks to your generosity, we have world-class research, clinical trials and Cancer Coaching happening right here. Patients like me have a reason to hope and stay positive, because you care.”

Sherry’s story began on March 9, 2019 in an isolated room in the hospital’s Emergency Department. That’s where she had the most terrifying conversation of her life.

“The doctor came in and told me I had breast cancer and it had metastasized to the bones and liver,” recalls Sherry. “I was completely shocked. I knew something was wrong but I never expected it to be so bad.”

Medically, things happened very quickly after Sherry’s diagnosis; she received radiation therapy, started oral chemotherapy and was scheduled for surgery to remove her ovaries. Emotionally, Sherry found her mind reeling with difficult questions and fears.

“I contacted a friend who told me about the Cancer Foundation’s Cancer Coaching program,” says Sherry. “It was a Godsend. The program helped me learn how to manage and live with cancer and the side effects of the medication. It also helped me prepare for my surgery and kept me grounded.”

Sherry talked through some major issues with her Cancer Coach, Bonney, and found her expertise invaluable. “Talking to Bonney had a calming effect on me. She’s approachable and a great listener and resource. I felt supported outside of my family and friends,” Sherry explains.

Today, Sherry’s biggest concerns are to continue to remain as mentally and physically healthy as possible, through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Figuring out next steps in her treatments are an ongoing concern, especially for the ones that have been put on hold.

“To deal with my stress, my Coach has provided me with some great resources, and we were able to move a scheduled face-to-face appointment online using the NexJ virtual platform,” Sherry says. “People living with cancer face daily challenges, and COVID-19 is another bump in the road. For me, it’s important to focus on what I have control over, and believe in the medical system and support I have.”

Sherry continues to be grateful to everyone involved in her care, including her Cancer Coach and, of course, caring supporters like you. In fact, Cancer Coaching means so much to Sherry, she wants to ensure other cancer patients in the Ottawa region and their families continue to have access to the program.

For her 50th birthday last year, Sherry hosted a party at a local restaurant to raise funds for the Cancer Foundation. It was also an opportunity to thank everyone for their enduring support. She hired a band, set up a silent auction and invited family and friends to attend or make a donation online. The event raised over $30,000 for Cancer Coaching, cancer research and local clinical trials.

“There are so many people affected by cancer and I want them to know about these great resources, especially now when things may be harder for them during the pandemic,” Sherry says. “We are very fortunate to have this continued support available to us with the commitment from the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation during these unprecedented times. Without the generosity and support from donors like you this would not be possible, thank you.”

Photo: Sherry with her husband Mark (right) and sons (from left) Griffin and Owen.

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