Sandi Anderson is perpetually grateful. “I have so many blessings in my life, I can’t even tell you,” she says earnestly.
This seems like an odd expression coming from an early 50s mother and grandmother who is presently in the throes of treatment for metastasized breast cancer.
“I have incredible family and an awesome healthcare team,” she explains.
When Sandi was diagnosed with cancer last year, as shocking as it was, she made a decision to accept her fate. “I don’t have the ‘kick its ass – fight it’ mentality some people have. I embrace it; it’s mine to own… mine to heal. It’s up to me to love my body through this and embrace this as part of where I need to go.”
One of the places she found herself going was Wellspring Calgary, where she has taken programs and formed meaningful relationships.
“My family and I were looking at the Wellspring brochure and we just couldn’t believe this place was offering all these programs for people living with cancer. How could this be?” She quips.
When the pair looked online and saw variety programs offered at Wellspring, Sandi decided it was worth the drive from High River to Carma House in northwest Calgary. She became a Wellspring member and brought her mom along to take programs also.
“The facilitators are absolutely amazing. All the right people are at Wellspring,” she explains. After her parents returned to Regina, Sandi continued on, signing up for Wellspring’s Tai Chi, Qigong, Brain Fog, Take Charge and art.
“At Wellspring I feel like I’m playing hooky or something! I say to myself, I’m at a course with amazing people and I’m totally enjoying myself – how great is this?” she says, adding, “Carma House is a healing place – like coming home.
Once a busy inventory auditor for Costco, Sandi now proclaims her main mission is self-care. “I meditate, give gratitude daily, I’ve altered my diet and lifestyle, and I recite affirmations – my favourite is: I am whole, I am safe, I am open to new possibilities of healing.
Also, importantly, Sandi has learned to ask for help when she needs it, and to turn her thoughts away from fear and negativity. “Of course it’s an undeniably scary path, but you can’t give cancer too much energy or let it take over who you are. Once in a while I go Oh my God – I was diagnosed with cancer – I forgot! Then I hug myself and say I’m okay…. I’m still here… I can do this.”