“Cancer is a hard word to hear, but it teaches you many life lessons,” says Thunder Bay Patient
by Katherine Mayer
Rae-Lyn Loroff has always been known for her bright personality and positive outlook on life. In March 2018, Loroff was faced with a surprising cancer diagnosis that challenged her positive nature, but never brought down her spirits.
Loroff was scheduled to have her regular mammogram, but because she was overdue for a Pap test, Loroff scheduled both cancer screening tests after her family doctor’s secretary called her to make a mammogram appointment. Once completing the Pap test and a follow-up pelvic ultrasound, Loroff was immediately told she should go to the emergency department at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre after seeing some concerns based on her ultrasound results.
“Meeting with the physician in the Emergency Department was all a blur,” explained Loroff. “I was told they had seen an issue on the ultrasound and that they thought I had uterine cancer. I remember feeling kind of numb sitting beside the physician when he said the word ‘cancer’.”
For Loroff, the next steps included a meeting with an Oncologist at the Regional Cancer Centre Northwest to have a biopsy completed in order to diagnose the type and stage of her cancer suspicion. Two biopsies later, Loroff was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage III ovarian cancer. “By the end of my diagnosis, I had heard so much bad news that I just wanted to get my appointments over with,” said Loroff.
Currently, Loroff is on her second cycle of chemotherapy in hopes of being eligible for surgery. Thankfully, Loroff was in the best health of her life when she was diagnosed. “I think my health has helped me overcome some of the major side effects from chemo. I have even continued with my regular routine of exercising and doing yoga throughout my treatment in order to maintain good physical and mental health and well-being,” said Loroff.
Loroff’s positive attitude has also helped her throughout her cancer journey. “Until you hear the phrase, ‘you have cancer’, you don’t really know what it feels like,” she explained. “But even though it’s a hard word to hear, it does teach you a lot of life lessons. I’ve learned to appreciate life in general, and all the people in my life, such as my supportive family, friends and colleagues.”
Others can learn from Loroff’s enthusiasm and willingness as she continues on her cancer journey. To learn more about ovarian cancer prevention and treatment, visit Cancer Care Ontario’s website at www.cancercareontario.ca, and click the tab ‘Types of Cancer’, followed by ‘Ovarian’. For more information on cancer screening, check out www.tbrhsc.net/cancerscreening.