Janice Baker: A feeling of belonging

August 14, 2023

I was diagnosed with late Stage 2 breast cancer in April of 2022, but I actually had been going to my family doctor for two years, complaining of pains in my left breast.

I’m at the age now where they don’t do automatic mammograms. So, between that and the pandemic, there wasn’t a hurry to have me checked. But finally, in December of 2021, I pushed to have a mammogram, and four months later I was able to finally get one.

Once I got the mammogram, they saw a massive tumor and were worried it had gone into my ribs – thankfully, it had not. Once the surgeon called, things moved quickly – with very little time to think about or even research my options. I had an operation in June and had chemo from August to December, with some additional surgery coming.

I relearned from my cancer journey that you always have to be advocating on your own behalf.

Fortunately, Wellspring was like a godsend.

I started with the nutrition programs shortly after my surgery and then did some meditation sessions both in-person and online. I also took brain fog and then, my favourite program, cancer exercise. I’ve also enjoyed Reiki, music therapy, cancer transition coaching … with a list of more programs to try.

The marvelous thing about Wellspring is that there’s something for everyone. There’s such a variety and potpourri of opportunities to support you, as much or as little as you want.

When I was diagnosed, I had terrific support from my immediate family and my best friends, but there’s a different feeling you get when you belong somewhere, with people who truly understand what you’re going through because they’re going through something similar. It’s that sharing that I think allows you to emerge from an extremely difficult time.

Being involved with Wellspring has brought back that human piece for me.

The biggest way Wellspring helped me is through social and emotional connections. I’ve made some great new friends and met people I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. Through the cancer exercise program, I have a wonderful group of close friends who even organized a birthday party for me! One very dynamic exercise member made a fruit display and another ordered Lebanese pizza for all of us to enjoy.

At Wellspring, not only do I get my individual needs met, but I now have a community. And it all converges into a collective joy, the whole experience.

To those not sure about Wellspring, I say don’t hesitate. Take a tour and see what’s available and maybe try one thing out. You won’t regret it.

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