How to tackle cancer and stay strong

It can be tough juggling medical appointments, care and treatment options when you or a loved one is struggling with an acute or chronic illness. But research shows a strong support system is crucial for better physical and mental health.

As a former CFL defensive lineman, Lyall Woznesensky thought he knew how to be strong. He’d played one of the toughest games in sport over eight seasons with six different CFL teams across Canada. But when he was diagnosed with advanced cancer in January 2016, Woznesensky realized that the type of strength he needed to face this challenge wasn’t just physical, it was mental and emotional too. And he couldn’t face it alone.
Since his diagnosis, Woznesensky has leaned on the support and positivity he gets from his two sons, siblings, former CFL teammates and especially his wife of 29 years, Debbie.

“My wife is only 5 foot 3, but she’s stronger than me. She’s the pillar of our family. She keeps my two boys strong and me strong even though she’s gone through a lot,” he explains.

The good news is that although the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Canada is increasing, survival rates are also going up. Overall, the five-year net survival for Canadians diagnosed with cancer is around 60 per cent, up from 53 per cent in previous decades.

Woznesensky is one of the growing number who are outliving their cancer diagnosis. He recently received good news from his doctor who said his cancer has receded.

Recently profiled in CancerChanged, a photo-documentary series that celebrates those who are living longer with advanced cancer, Woznesensky shares his journey to bring hope to others dealing with a challenging diagnosis. Read more about his story and others online at saveyourskin.ca/conected.

www.newscanada.com

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