A little bit about you:
Name: Veronica Presz
City: Oakville, ON
What was/is your diagnosis?
What year was it? What was your age at the time?
Diagnosed in December 2019, age 33
What is something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?
Built a career in pharmaceutical clinical research that I am extremely passionate about.
What is a top item on your life to do list?
I have two – to create a new family and to see the world!
What are your hobbies?
Hiking with my beagle Odysseus, travelling, social time with friends/family
What was your life like before your diagnosis?
Jam-packed and always on the move! I admittedly was a bit of a work-a-holic but balanced this well with plenty of personal activities and adventures.
How did you find out you were sick? What led to your diagnosis?
I found out after experiencing acute appendicitis requiring emergency surgery – the appendix removal showed cancer in the routine pathology check. The surgery was done and diagnosis given in the UK.
What were your first thoughts when diagnosed?
Complete and utter shock followed by uncertainty around how to communicate the news to my loved ones. I also felt the immediate need to be back home in Canada as I suddenly felt very alone being in the UK.
In which hospital(s) are/were you treated?
Addenbrooke’s (Cambridge, UK), St. Joseph’s (Toronto, ON), Oakville Trafalgar (Oakville, ON) and Mount Sinai (Toronto, ON)
What is your current medical status?
In treatment – currently on chemo (FOLFOX regimen for 12 cycles).
Life after cancer:
What is/was the toughest part about having cancer as a young adult?
Putting my busy life and career on hold just as I started to feel that things were falling into place. Learning how to create a new “normal”.
What really helped/helps you to keep going while you were/are sick?
The incredible people in my life and my dog.
What kept you/keeps you busy during treatment?
Striving to eat well and exercise while prioritizing self-care. Plenty of reading/Netflix but also spending as much time as possible with loved ones. Walking/hiking when the weather is good to get a good dose of Mother Nature (I get some cold sensitivity to FOLFOX so no winter hiking!)
What are some lifestyle changes you’ve made since your diagnosis?
Intermittent fasting (16/8), clean eating and cutting sugar intake. I also am taking several vitamins and supplements daily. I’m a firm believer that these actions are helping to manage my chemo-related side effects.
Stay in touch:
What would you like to say to other young adults dealing with cancer who are reading this profile?
Act with determination and don’t be afraid to challenge – you are your own advocate!
Are you interested in helping others facing cancer challenges? If so please let us know how you can be contacted.
Yes! Happy to be contacted, email is likely easiest.
If you want to get in touch with Veronica, please send a message to [email protected] and we’ll forward it along!