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Stefani’s Story – An incredibly powerful message during Breast Cancer Awareness Month


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Printed with permission from the author, Roxzane Sisson Armstrong

Stefani’s Story

Yesterday would have been my sister‘s 55th birthday. This is one of my favourite birthday pictures of her.
This picture is very bittersweet. This was her 50th birthday. This was five days after her first ever mammogram – the one she figured she should get just because she was turning 50, where they discovered something that needed to be checked further. This was her last birthday before she knew definitively that she had breast cancer. Five days later they would do a biopsy and her battle would begin.
The doctor had terrified her and so she chose, like in everything she did in life, to fight this battle her way. Much as I tried often to convince her otherwise, she chose to only fight this in a strictly homeopathic manner. She went to Mexico and had treatment (that cost an arm and a leg) and she had really good success with it…for a time. After a brief remission the beast came back stronger than ever. And still, she was determined to fight this her way, and we did our best to support her and the choice she was determined to make.
Last September she fell down the stairs – a simple slip and fall but one that hurt her body quite badly. In her injured and weakened state, the cancer exploded and spread everywhere.
In November, a friend of mine asked her to tell her story on camera. A part of that recording she chose to do privately and asked that we see it after she was gone. In it she had a message.
She said she made a mistake, that she did it wrong. She said not to take the path she did.
Her advice to anyone facing this battle is to use every tool available. Her message is to embrace both science and traditional medicine; to take advantage of every medical and technological advancement in the fight against cancer, and to utilize that hand-in-hand with homeopathic care. She said to hit it hard and fast early and then to feed your mind, body and soul with healthy things. She said to make sure you are eating to give your body everything it needs for a strong immune system and to get rid of those things that cancer feeds on, emotionally and mentally as well. She said to make sure to address and heal past traumas, to live well and healthy and to laugh often!
She hopes that in telling her story, she can be a beacon for others who face this journey.
One final note, as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s time to get your hands on your boobs ladies!! Make sure you know all your lumps and bumps and textures so you know if something changes! And yes, they suck, but get your mammograms. 💕

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Moustaches for Men’s Health – The Meaning of Movember

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It’s that time of year again! Whether it’s your least favorite month, or this is your time to shine – Movember is back! 

 While the fun is certainly in the facial hair … Movember is more than just the opportunity to fill in those mutton chops or grow a socially acceptable handlebar moustache. The meaning of this month goes further than flexing the best (or worst) facial hair fashion, it’s the chance to take part in a global movement to support and promote men’s health.

“The moustache is something of a Trojan Horse that encourages men to engage with their health and talk about the things they often don’t, but should,” says Mitch Hermansen, Western Canada Lead for Movember, “There’s no such thing as a bad moustache. They can all start conversations and save lives.” 

Founded in 2003 among four friends, Movember is now the world’s leading men’s health charity, with more than 6 million global supporters all committed to changing the narrative surrounding male health and helping men live “happier, healthier, longer lives”.

The average life expectancy of a man is 6 years shorter than that of the average woman. Movember is working to minimize this gap by focusing on the three factors that pose the greatest risk to mens health worldwide: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide.  

Globally, there are 9.9 million men living with or experiencing the effects of prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, with 1 in 9 men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and approximately 1 in 41 men dying as a result.

Testicular cancer is the world’s most common cancer among men ages 15-39, and the American Cancer Society estimates 1 in every 250 males will develop testicular cancer during their lifetime. Education, early detection and effective treatments have put the survival rate for this diagnosis at greater than 95%, however the long-term side effects and impacts can have lasting negative implications on quality of life for survivors. 

The Movember foundation works to minimize the global impact of these dominant male cancers by funding initiatives and collaborating with innovative global organizations that promote education, early detection and personalized and affordable treatment. 

As a holistic men’s health organization, the Movember approach prioritizes mental health as much as physical. Globally, the male suicide rate is shockingly high, with one man dying by suicide every minute of every day, and 6 out of 10 suicides being committed by men (1).

Movember examines and addresses the complex structural factors that contribute to the male suicide rate and keep men from speaking out and seeking help. “We provide men with the tools, avenues and resources to support and engage with their own mental health,” says Hermansen, “as well as ways to support one another.” By facilitating a global conversation surrounding male health and focusing on the three top health risks men currently face worldwide, Movember aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by the year 2030.

This November, there are 4 opportunities to get involved with Movember and contribute to men’s health.

1. Grow your own Mo and raise funds with your face
2. Run or walk 60 km as a part of Move for Movember in recognition of the 60 men lost to suicide each hour, every hour
3. Gather a group and Host a virtual Mo-Ment, and have a good time for a good cause
4. Design your own fundraising challenge and Mo Your Own Way.


Visit to learn more about men’s health and how to get involved, or to create a profile and start fundraising.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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Connected to the Resources I Need

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Connected to the Resources I Need

Candice struggled for a few years with looking after her family, pain and deteriorating mobility. Her husband is away for long stretches working out of town. She had put out some feelers to get help with some things but nothing ever connected…that is until she met the support nurse in her physician’s clinic.

Candice said,” Wow! What an amazing nurse. I usually don’t open up and tell anyone about my struggles but the support nurse sensed I needed help and had a way of making me feel so comfortable that I did open up. She was so friendly and caring. Once she knew my challenges and needs, she did everything she could to set me up with resources. She connected me with Home Care, a mental health counsellor and other community resources. I got everything that I need in a very short timeframe. I will never be free of the pain but my everyday life is more comfortable now.  I would give this service and the Support Nurse the highest recommendation, I have never met anyone like her.”

Learn more about the Red Deer Primary Care Network.

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october, 2020

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