Life changes immediately after hearing the words “you have cancer.”
Katie Giddy of Fergus did not want to process that news alone.
By sharing her journey with others in her blog, No Time for Cancer, Giddy shares her personal journey with breast cancer in a way that's full of humour, stories and practical advice for patients and friends alike. She draws on her life experiences to motivate and entertain others.
“The whole intent of it is to provide a perspective, reassurance to people, and make things more approachable. I thought here, I could take some of the unknowns or some of the complexities, and put them out there so people can connect," said Giddy.
It’s been almost a year since she received her breast cancer diagnosis.
In her blog Giddy wrote: “It’s two days before Christmas. I have presents to wrap, two family gatherings, friends to see, baking, I’m planning a fundraiser, I have some sneaky ‘while it’s quiet at work’ vacation booked and for God’s sake, we are building a new racetrack! I don’t have time for CANCER…”
Giddy, 41, works full-time as the vice-president of operations at Grand River Raceway in Elora, and is a wife and mother of two girls.
Early on in her journey, Giddy met with a doctor who instilled some inspiration.
“We talked about who I was as a person, not as a medical case, how I was going to navigate this journey and the path that was ahead of me,” she said.
In her blog, Giddy said ‘no one has time for cancer, ever!'
“But before cancer, I also had no time to write a blog. After being diagnosed, I also had no intention of doing this for many reasons. My hubby Joel and I discussed at length how I wanted to handle telling people, and what we would tell them. We quickly decided we wanted to be open, honest and very transparent,” Giddy wrote in her blog.
“I lived in a world when I had the perception of control, and in a world that was about to get very out of control and I still had my story, the opportunity to tell it on my own terms, my way.”
It first began with a Facebook page.
“This allowed me to share what was going on with the people that care about me, and I am very blessed that this community opened their arms to me 20 years ago. My community at large has been incredibly supportive,” she said.
“I use this space to tell a story with a little British humour because a positive attitude can help make other people feel at ease too. And I want people to see that this is still me.”
Giddy said when things seem like they are no longer in your control, sharing your narrative belongs to you.
“So, this is how it all started. And then it just spiralled. For me, especially in this instance, writing is almost like therapy,” she said.
“In the Facebook group, people have shared how thankful they are. One person in particular, said that her son had been diagnosed with cancer. She said that she felt a little more prepared in her journey with things that I had shared, and other people had shared the same.”
No Time for Cancer was launched into a blog format about two months ago.
“I just can’t believe it. The post I wrote the other day has about 1,000 reads on it,” Giddy said.
Giddy share’s her journey through chemotherapy, losing her hair, radiation realities, and undergoing a double mastectomy.
“What I write is 100 per cent accurate and transparent. In some ways it’s like a double whammy. Because in some ways, by writing and sharing, it's both real and processed,” Giddy said.
“And yes, sometimes, I almost feel accountable. It can be a challenge to keep that positive attitude and to keep going because people have started to follow.”
But Giddy said, it’s not a challenge for her to speak out and speak openly.
“So, here I am with No Time for Cancer, and all the time for cancer, sharing a little of me that hopefully helps a lot of you, in the simplest way," she wrote.