Saskatoon woman livestreams cancer treatments to help others
A Saskatoon woman courageously fighting ovarian cancer is inviting the entire world along for the journey.
Up until a few months ago, 30-year-old Amy Smith worked at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre as a pharmacist helping children with chemotherapy and symptom management.
Today, Smith is now a patient in their care.
“I mean everyone that works in health care wants to help people at the root of what they’re doing which is not to say I wasn’t sympathetic about what people were going through but I think I didn’t quite get it,” Smith said.
In November, Smith was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
She says her symptoms were pretty subtle – she had heartburn and felt bloated but chalked it up to the amount of pizza, pasta and wine the couple indulged in while on their two week honeymoon in Italy and Greece.
She was later given the devastating news, had surgery and started her first of four cycles of chemotherapy on Dec. 19, 2016.
“It’s like you’re going to die, you’re going to be fine, you’re going to die, you’re going to fine so it’s a lot of up and down – like a total emotional roller coaster,” Smith said.
“You’re trying to not only advocate for yourself and get the best care that you can but also to kinda keep yourself together through it all so it’s tough.”
She has now turned her health crisis into a conversation by live streaming her chemotherapy sessions and answering questions from viewers.
“Cancer is so scary and chemo is so terrifying to so many people,” she added
“If you can show them what’s happening it just becomes so much more accessible and it becomes less terrifying for people.”
By sharing what’s she’s learned, Smith hopes to save someone from the same diagnosis and see more research in the fight to find a cure but like most patients her bills didn’t stop when she got sick.
Having helped so many others on their journey, Smith is now getting a little assistance of her own in the form of a $10,000 grant from the Pink Wig Foundation so she can focus strictly on her health.
“When you have to go off of work for a cancer diagnosis, there’s not options as to how to financially support yourself,” Smith said.
“It’s such a Saskatchewan thing to do, embrace people back into your community and really support people and that’s what we see the Pink Wig doing.”
When she gets better Smith says she plans to pay it forward by picking up her research where she left off and caring for patients with a whole new understanding of what they are going through.
For more information on either page, search for Amydee PharmD or The Pink Wig Foundation.
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