Faith: A Rethink Profile

Name & pronouns: Faith Jones (she/her)

Age: 37

Occupation/How do you spend most of your time?: Holistic Wellness Professional and Advocate (Personal Trainer, Yoga Specialist, Meditation Teacher and Thai Massage Practitioner), and founder of

Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 36

Breast cancer type: ER/PR+ HER2 –

Treatment: lumpectomy with a sentinel lymph node biopsy, chemotherapy, radiation, endocrine therapy

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer.

I have three! Most of my childhood birthdays were spent at the circus (my uncle was the manager of a travelling circus!), I’ve climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for multiple sclerosis and my favourite place to be is at the ocean.

What’s your go-to pick-me-up song? 

It was hard for me to listen to music throughout my treatment because it would bring up too many emotions; the one song I did listen to on repeat was Sweet Architect by Emeli Sande. Driving to my last radiation appointment, which was the end of my active treatment, I played Brighter Days by Emeli Sande which has now become my go-to-pick-me-up-song!

How did you discover your breast cancer? 

Five months prior to my diagnoses I was feeling really unwell. I had such extreme fatigue that I wasn’t able to get out of bed and I had a severe headache for almost a month. Unfortunately, because of Covid-19 my family doctor wasn’t seeing patients in person so I was only able to speak to her on the phone. We ruled out Covid-19 and mono and then I did a battery of blood tests. Although some of the blood test results were abnormal, my doctor believed it was just a virus and she said all I could do was rest and I would get better. I started to feel slightly better over time but intuitively I knew that something was still not right and it felt like my hormones were unbalanced, although I was unsure of what to do or ask for from my doctor. Fast forward five months and I felt a lump while I was in the shower. At first I was hesitant to call my doctor because I didn’t feel like she supported me the first time around, but I knew I had to get it checked out. Thankfully when I called I spoke to a nurse practitioner and I told her exactly what I had felt. Within a few days, I had a mammogram and ultrasound booked — my first ever. It was already so overwhelming thinking about what the lump could be. A couple of days later I got the call that no one wants to receive and was told that it could be breast cancer. I had to pick up the imaging from my mammogram and ultrasound immediately and take it to the hospital, so I dropped everything that I was suppose to do that day and did just that. I remember walking into the hospital and seeing the words “Cancer Centre” and thinking, “Wow, this could be my reality.” Within a week I had a biopsy and another mammogram and ultrasound done at the hosptial and then heard the sentence that I will never forget, “Unfortunately, you have breast cancer.” It was confirmed. 

What went through your head when you received your diagnosis? 

I never thought, “Why me?” My first thought after the initial shock was gone was, “What is the bigger purpose of this?” I knew I wanted to share my story to encourage others going through a similar journey and to help others advocate for themselves.

What’s the worst/most outrageous thing someone said to you after being diagnosed with breast cancer?

When I was looking for a naturopath, I had one say to me the first time I was meeting with her, “So why did you get this?” implying it was my fault that this happened. Let’s just say, I didn’t work with her and I found a much better naturopath that didn’t make me feel responsible for my diagnoses.

Personally, I don’t like when people ask me what stage I was, to me it feels like they want to know how close I was to dying or how serious the cancer was. I don’t talk about it because it’s not helpful for me to think about. Knowing that I don’t have cancer anymore is what is most helpful.

Who or what is/was your biggest source of support throughout your experience with cancer? 

My faith, family and friends.

What is/was the most difficult part of being a young person with breast cancer? 

Being told continuously that I’m too young to get breast cancer. It never made me feel better. Being diagnosed with breast cancer is hard enough but being told, that essentially, you shouldn’t have it doesn’t help. 

It was devastating to have conversations about the potential of infertility from certain treatments. Something that someone that is postmenopause doesn’t have to think about. I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to successfully freeze eggs. It’s also difficult being pre-menopause and experiencing symptoms of menpause caused by medication you have to take.

What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself as a result of having breast cancer? 

I’m stronger than I ever thought I was and not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I learned to become a true advocate for myself throughout treatment and that’s made me a more confident and assertive person. I’m so grateful to be here and to be able to share my story.

What’s something you wish society would rethink about breast cancer?

Unfortunately, It doesn’t just happened to women over a certain age. And you don’t have to have a family history or a gene mutation — both of which I don’t have and was still diagnosed. I believe there needs to be more awareness and education around breast cancer at a young age. Young folks are normally diagnosed at a later stage because we don’t have access to mammograms. I’m a huge advocate for breast self-examinations as most young women I know that have been diagnosed discovered their own lump. Also, there needs to be more research done on Black women and breast cancer. There’s a disparity between Black and white women breast cancer with Black women having a higher mortality rate. I think what can help is improving cancer screening programs that are accessible to underserved populations and by addressing the biological differences in breast cancer across racial and ethnic groups.

In one sentence, what words of wisdom would you pass on to another young person who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer? 

I see you! Give yourself the grace and patience to feel everything you’re feeling without judgement. Try to find moments of joy even in the midst of the hard times.

Anything else you want to add?

If you know someone that has been diagnosed the best thing you can do is to make it known that you’re there if they need you. A check-in with a call or text with no expectations to receive a reply and saying something like, “Know I’m thinking of you and here if/when you want to chat” was very helpful to me. Saying things like, “Let me know what I can do,” although may seem helpful, just puts more stress on the individual to get back to you asking for something. I also want people to realize that check-ins after active treatment are just as important, and maybe even more so, than when you’re going through treatment. You have a whole support team during treatment, from doctors to nurses to social workers and then when treatment is done it can feel like you’re on your own and processing everything that just happened by yourself. For me the real healing started to happen after I was done active treatment and it was so helpful to have people around me that were making sure I was good. I will continue to share my story and be a breast cancer advocate for the rest of my life as I truly believe it can save someone’s life. If you’ve just been diagnosed, going through it or on the other side of active treatment I’m sending you lots of love, healing and prayers.

Meet more people from the community in our profile series here and here (MBC)!

If you or someone you know is a person with breast cancer looking for a community that relates and connects with what you’re going through, The Rethink Network might be right for you.

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50 Carroll Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M4M 3G3
Phone: 416 220 0700
Registered Charity #: 892176116RR0001

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