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'Look Mom, a Pirate'

Hello my name is Rosie Simone and I'm from Toronto, Ontario.  I’m a wife, a mom and stepmom to three beautiful children.  I was first diagnosed when I was 43 years old. I was lying in bed and something made me want to do a self exam, which I did and unfortunately I found a lump on my right breast.  The next day I went to a doctor to get it checked out.  Fast forward within a couple weeks,  I find out I have stage 2 breast cancer,  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,  all I could say to myself was "OMG my kids!" and "Am I going to die?"  I had a mastectomy on my right side then had chemotherapy.  I was put on tamoxifen, then I thought everything would be OK.

Fast forward three and a half years later,  I find a lump over my right collarbone which turns out to be stage 3 breast cancer.  I now have to do 25 sessions of radiation.  I wanted to be proactive so I had a mastectomy on the my left breast and my ovaries removed. Doctors didn’t think it was necessary, but for my peace of mind I wanted it done.  After all it’s my life! Once that was done, I was put on another pill called letrozole.  Now it’s almost a year later and for the third time I find a lump over my left collarbone.  I was livid! I couldn’t believe it and wanted a biopsy ASAP.  It took three biopsies to confirm I now had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. You can’t imagine how I’m feeling now, mixed emotions & so upset.  I’m now having chemo once a week, three weeks on and one off.  I need the chemo to keep me alive or should we say, to try and control the cancer.  I try my absolute best to laugh and smile and just carry on everyday.

So now I’ll share a couple of funny incidents I had!

I was sitting having a coffee with my husband, I had a bandanna on and right beside us was a young boy maybe 4-years-old with his mom.  He looks over at me and points, and then I hear, “Look mom, a pirate!” I asked my husband, "Did he just call me a pirate?" My husband nodded yes quietly and we both smiled.  Oh well, let the fun begin I thought to myself.  I now have a tiny bit of hair and I have fun with it, so I dye it hot pink and the looks I get from kids are hilarious.  Some would just stand there and stare up at me without moving while others will say out loud, “pink hair?” What I really want to do one day is rip my hat or bandanna off to the next mall person that asks if they can show me a straightener or hair products.

I was on vacation and a lady on the beach asked if I wanted braids done? OMG I should have taken off my sun hat and seen her reaction, I’m pretty sure the next day we made eye contact.

Another funny story: My mom offered her blonde wig to me after she had gone through cancer years ago. I declined right away as my hair used to be black long and curly -- not short blonde and straight. I told her I didn’t want to be in a disguise or anything.


I had attended a funeral (you can say a function) and a friend that hasn’t seen me for awhile knew what I was going through, but in the middle of our conversation had the urge to pull my hair and ask: Is that real? It was because I just started chemo and my hair hadn’t fallen out yet. Well everyone bursted our laughing. It was innocent but funny.


Well, I live my life day-by-day.  I need to remain calm and positive. I have a huge support group of family and friends and want to live a long time.  I did find my cancer three times myself.  So I say be your own advocate and do what you think is right for you.  

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