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The nurse becomes the patient.

People outside of the medical profession may forget that healthcare providers are just as susceptible to serious illness as everyone else. Becky Dahle will never forget.

Weeks after learning that she had landed her “dream job” as a Nurse Specialist in Ontario’s Waterloo Region, this young, married, mother of four became a cancer patient, exchanging her nurses’ scrubs for a patient gown.

In 2018, after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Becky decided she would take her health in her own hands and performed a “self-examination” for the first time. Becky was shocked when she felt a lump in her breast. Not only did further tests confirm that Becky too had breast cancer, but they revealed she was triple negative, which is “more aggressive and difficult to treat”. She would require the highest standard of care, and she knew that Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto was “best suited for my situation”.

Becky explains, “When I arrived and met Dr. Tulin Cil, I knew I was where I needed to be. She was extremely skilled and extremely caring.” When it came to Becky’s care, “The Princess Margaret staff worked in a cohesive manner. My treatment was no longer disjointed. Surgical options were available to me.”

At the time Becky told herself, “If I ever were to return to nursing, I’d want to be a part of The Princess Margaret.”

After having a double mastectomy in 2019, Becky was to learn that, “my ordeal wasn’t over but was just beginning. I had to try and get back to my life and cope with the fear of more cancer.” Today, as Becky approaches the important five-year milestone of being cancer free, Dr. Cil and her team remain just as involved in Becky’s care, supporting her ongoing journey, “They refuse to let me fall through the cracks.” She adds, “I’m confident that, even if something new happens, they’ll catch it early.”

Becky is grateful to Dr. Cil and the entire team at The Princess Margaret, not to mention the generous supporters who make all of this important work possible. “Your support of Princess Margaret is sure to have an impact because I’ve seen how everyone working there is dedicated to improving people’s lives.”