Doreen Pinto: Attitude of Gratitude

February 28, 2024

Despite her life-altering cancer diagnosis, Doreen Pinto still finds a reason to be grateful every day. She calls this practice her “attitude of gratitude.”

“I shared this with my Peer Support Group at Wellspring and one member said ‘STOP—I need to write this down!’” Doreen laughs.

Doreen first discovered she had breast cancer through a routine mammogram in August 2022. After reviewing the results, the hospital called Doreen back for an ultrasound, which was followed by a biopsy.

That’s why when Doreen visited the surgeon post-biopsy, she mentally prepared for bad news. “Sure enough, the surgeon said it was breast cancer, three tumors in my breast—which meant I needed a mastectomy.” Doreen was booked in for surgery one month later.

Being psychologically prepared for the surgery helped Doreen deal with the diagnosis. She says she always had thick skin, but since the diagnosis she had developed a certain stoicism— something that even the surgeon was surprised by.

After her successful mastectomy, Doreen sought connection with others who had been on a similar journey to her. She knew of Wellspring through former colleagues who had been members, and had spoken positively of their experience. This led to her decision to give it a try.

Doreen initially contacted Wellspring to speak to a Peer Support volunteer who had also undergone a mastectomy. “The volunteer was amazing. She said if I had the time and energy, that I should come for a tour. So, I did, and immediately signed up to become a Wellspring member,” Doreen says.

The many in-centre programs intrigued Doreen, who initially signed up for the Relaxation and Visualization program. She reflects on how this program, above all else, helped her to feel connected with others.

“Although I live alone, attending this program showed me I wasn’t alone in my journey. It was an excellent group, and everyone was so supportive of each other; giving helpful hints and coping mechanisms. It was nice to know that other people felt the same as me,” Doreen says.

To get her creative juices flowing again, Doreen signed up for the Music Program – which she loved.

“I’ve always been a creative person, but I was so inspired after the Wellspring Music Program, that I went home, and I wrote a song about cancer. I put it to the melody of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ – I put it to the melody of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ – it’s called “A World Without Cancer”. The next time I had a Music Program session, I shared it with the group and asked them all to help me sing the song, and we all sang my song together at Wellspring,” Doreen says.

It has been over a year since Doreen was diagnosed with breast cancer. And every day that passes, she makes sure to appreciate.

“I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I wake up every morning and say to myself, ‘thank you God for another day and allow me to use this day as best as I can.’ I believe in counting my blessings and having the cancer experience magnified this for me. It allowed me to see all in my life that is good,” Doreen says.

“That’s my attitude of gratitude!”

2 Responses

  1. Wishing my friend Doreen a journey towards a cancer free life. I know of many close friends who battled this illness & I hope some day there will be a cure for cancer.

    Beautiful song “World without Cancer” written by Doreen & wonderfully sung by her & close friends & family.

  2. Love the legacy of song and memory here, Doreen. I think it’s amazing you did this with your family. Very touching. Thank you!

    I enjoy reading your story too. Wishing you wellness as you thrive and move away from this experience.

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