Image of woman wearing a mask holding a bell

Ina Tiouchco was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2020.

“Following my breast cancer diagnosis, I was stunned and in a fog. I needed support to help me deal with the shock of the disease, my fears about the unknown, my future treatments, my anxieties, and my questions,” says Ina, a patient of the McGill University Health Centre’s (MUHC) Breast Clinic.

Ina underwent treatment at the MUHC and found the help she needed in the Breast Clinic’s Wellness Program. She is grateful for the overwhelming support she continues to receive,  from the educational services provided to the compassion and kindness shown by the multidisciplinary team.

Going above and beyond the standard of care, the MUHC’s Breast Clinic, with support from the MUHC Foundation, makes sure every patient has the resources and support that they need on their journey before, during, and after treatment. These resources include:

  • An in-treatment and post-treatment support group.
  • Professional coaching sessions on specific themes, to help patients navigate their breast cancer journey.
  • Access to sessions with a psychologist, nutritionist, sex therapist, exercise physiologist and kinesiologist.
  • Special seminars on what to expect during radiotherapy, chemotherapy, breast reconstruction, hormonal therapy, and anesthesia, as well as post-chemo beauty tips, and how to deal with brain fog.

Ina’s experience

Radiation therapy can be difficult for patients. The Radiotherapy 101 seminar helped Ina overcome her anxiety ahead of her treatments.

“The seminar allowed me to calm my fears. I was given a virtual tour of the treatment room, shown the machine, as well as the positioning during the treatment. They even explained how to take care of your skin. I felt more confident because I was well supported,” she explains. 

To this day, Ina, who has now completed active treatment, still attends the Breast Clinic’s seminars. She says she enjoys being able to ask new questions as they arise, and take the time to understand the information provided.

Ina also appreciates the community and companionship offered by the in-treatment support group.

“This support group allows us to share our feelings.. We develop a sense of belonging; there are links that are forged, and we feel supported,” she says.

For Patient Support Coordinator Sophie Blondin, the sense of community and belonging that flourishes as a result of the program is “the magic of it all.”

Ina and fellow patient Heidi were so inspired that they recently created a private Facebook group for the “ladies on the 6th floor”—where the Breast Clinic is located at the Glen—to connect, share and heal together.

Essential and indispensable

Like many patients, Ina feels the services offered to those navigating their breast cancer journey are “essential and indispensable.” This is why the MUHC Foundation has made it our mission to help the Breast Clinic provide exceptional care for patients like Ina. 

“I feel lucky and privileged to have access to this program,” Ina says.  “A big thank you to all the teams who make this possible for all patients.”

Are you a patient or family member interested in learning more about the services provided by the MUHC Breast Clinic’s Wellness Program? Contact Sophie Blondin at [email protected]

Want to make a gift in support of the incredible work happening at the MUHC’s Breast Clinic, donate here.