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Humanity at its finest

When Joycelyn’s phone rang and the call display said Headwaters, the day after she had a mammogram...
...she knew the news would not be what she had hoped for.

“It all happened so fast. After the scan was done and the call came the next day, the wheels were already in motion,” recalled Joycelyn.

Joycelyn had invasive Ductal Carcinoma, a form of breast cancer, where early detection and immediate action is critical. Her surgery was booked for 16 days later to remove the cancer in her right breast.

“On the day of the surgery, my emotions were running high. I was thinking about my grandkids and how I wanted to be around to see them grow,” continued Joycelyn.

With a career spanning 40 years, Morag, Registered Practical Nurse in our Day Surgery department, supported Joycelyn in her care. Morag, always patient and kind, was one of the first members of the team that Joycelyn saw.

“Morag walked me through every step and did what she could to make me feel comfortable. Not an easy task when you are preparing for surgery to remove cancer,” said Joycelyn. She knew she was in good hands.

When the time came to go into the operating room, Joycelyn was scared.

“I remember Morag leaning in and speaking softly to me. She held my hand and reassured me that everything was going to be okay,” said Joycelyn.

It was this small act of kindness that stood out for Joycelyn. The fact that Morag had taken the time to stop and focus on her mental and emotional needs as well as her physical needs meant a great deal.

Ultimately, we are all humans who just want reassurance that we will get through the difficult times to see a better day ahead. During these exceptionally challenging times with COVID-19, we need all the reminders we can get of the good that is in humankind.          

When Joycelyn awoke, Morag was still there holding her hand and making sure she was comfortable. Morag stayed with her right up to her discharge.

Morag is quick to shy away from any recognition and when asked about Joycelyn’s journey she commented, “I was just doing my job. I am just one member of an entire team that is great. I love helping people and, more importantly, I love seeing them recover.”

Joycelyn continued with vigorous follow-up treatment at Stronach Cancer Centre in Newmarket and we are pleased to share that she is cancer-free today.

Photo caption: (left to right) Joycelyn, cancer survivor, with Morag, Registered Practical Nurse who exemplified our value of kindness when providing care.