Mary Sauro

Mary, 50 years old, has been fighting cancer for 2 years. She also cares for her husband who, after suffering from a stroke, has been paralyzed on one side for several years. Mary often feels like she is fighting alone…

Mary has been working for the Cancer Research Society for over 20 years.

Mary Sauro

" A continuous battle " 

" One day, I went to the doctor, thinking I had a urinary infection. The doctors felt a mass and thought I was 5 months pregnant, but I knew that was impossible! The tests finally proved that I had cancer. In fact, I had 2 cancers – one in my uterus the size of a nut and another, much bigger one, on my ovary. The ovarian cancer is the one which was symptomatic as it was pressing on my bladder."

Living with the disease

" The nurses were angels "

" I had to wait 3 months for my surgery. It was performed on Christmas Eve, which is also my birthday. The operation, a hysterectomy, lasted 51/2 hours. I had complications and had to rest without going outside the house for 2 months before I was well recuperated. I was also busy trying to care for my husband. Luckily, my family and the CLSC gave me a lot of help. But it was difficult… and then I had to get through chemotherapy. It was hard to move because abdominal muscles were cut during my surgery. I had to re-learn how to walk. Thankfully, the nurses at the Jewish General Hospital were always there to lean on. Literally and figuratively. They were my angels. I needed their support to get me through my prescribed 12 treatments. "

" The side-effect shake you up "

" Three months after the start of my chemo treatments, I started to lose my hair and eyebrows. The side effects were the worst. Every muscle ached! I felt exhausted all the time. I also had to pay extra careful attention to my food – everything had to be carefully washed and/or boiled to kill germs so that my body could allocate all its resources to rebuilding after the chemo. Then I was given radiation treatments, 5 days a week, which also had side effects. It seemed to get more and more difficult with each passing day. I was weak, I had no appetite, and I couldn’t drive. I even suffered from memory loss."

" People look at me like I’m a walking miracle "

" In November 2013, after completing my treatments, I progressively returned to work at the Cancer Research Society. Today, I am still often tired and not yet 100% back to my old self. My main priority is my husband, with whom I have shared my life for 30 years. I believe strongly in research. The treatments of today are much more effective than those given 20 years ago. One of the keys to successful treatment is maintaining a healthy body and eating well. That’s also called PREVENTION. Listen to us! I always felt it was important to care for people around you. I never knew how important it was until I needed that care and support for myself. I am so grateful for my friends, my family, and my colleague at the Cancer Research Society who cared for me during these difficult times. It is also important to stay positive. I donated my organs for study to help advance research. People look at me today like I’m a walking miracle!! "