I received this letter in the mail today, hoping the content of it would be good news.

To my surprise, you denied my claim.

I’m glad that my disability isn’t “severe nor prolonged” enough for you.
On your website, this is what you define as a disability:

What we mean by “disability”
To qualify for a disability benefit under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), a disability must be both “severe” and “prolonged”, and it must prevent you from being able to work at any job on a regular basis.
  • Severe means that you have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work.
  • Prolonged means that your disability is long-term and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death.
Both the “severe” and “prolonged” criteria must be met simultaneously at the time of application. There is no common definition of “disability” in Canada. Even if you qualify for a disability benefit under other government programs or from private insurers, you may not necessarily qualify for a CPP disability benefit.

I’m extremely disappointed. Heartbroken really. Just more added stress that I didn’t think I would have to deal with. I sent you my pathology report, stating that I have breast cancer, I sent you my mammogram results, my MRI results, my surgeon wrote a letter stating that I needed a full mastectomy and that I will be receiving treatment afterwards. I didn’t think you needed anything more. I thought having cancer would be enough for you.

I have 90 days to write a letter and get more medical reports to send off to you, hoping that you will reconsider.

Here’s what you’ve missed..

I’m 27, just found out that I have breast cancer and that I need surgery as soon as possible. Was told that I couldn’t save my breast, that I needed a full mastectomy. Had surgery 20 days later, the day before my 28th birthday. During surgery they injected radiation into me, this was so they could find my lymph nodes better.- But you knew I already had the surgery.
15 days later, I had more radiation put into me for my bone scan. During this time I also had what is called axillary web syndrome, also known as cording in my arm. It develops as a side effect of sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection- which I had both done. This long cord developed under my armpit, went down to my elbow and all the way to my wrist. It was painful and tight, making it difficult for me to lift my arm any higher than my shoulder, and I couldn’t extend my elbow fully. This pain and limited range of motion had a huge impact on my day-to-day life.
A few weeks later I had my genetic test done. Still don’t know the results of this test yet, but I’m hoping that I don’t have a genetic mutation that makes me have the breast cancer gene. A couple days after that, it was determined that my cancer will benefit from chemotherapy. I started chemo on Thursday, April 13th.
Before starting chemo, I had time to save my eggs. I did the fertility stuff for 12 days. I stabbed needles in my belly for 12 days. I did the retrieval and they said I had 10 mature eggs and that they will be made into embryos.
The day after my first chemo (Friday, April 14th) I got the call that my eggs did not survive. So not only is it the day after my first chemo, where my immune is so low that I can get very ill, but I am now grieving about my future children, trying not to get too upset because my health is at risk.- This will be another blog, but I was told that I’m under extreme stress and that having all the radiation put into me did not help.
They say after your first round of chemo your hair will start to fall out 2-3 weeks later. I’m currently on week 2. So soon enough my hair will be falling out and I will be bald. Try being a 28 year old women, diagnosed with breast cancer and now having her hair stripped away from her.
I am extremely insecure with my body. I have 1 boob- yes reconstruction surgery is possible, but I have more things to worry about before deciding on that. I will always have this scar constantly reminding me that I have cancer.
I have panic attacks when going out in public. I have to remind myself to breath and that everything is okay. I have to remember that strangers do not know what I have and what I’m going through. I have to remember to act normal.

I don’t feel normal, I’ll never feel normal, I will never be normal. I will always worry about cancer.

Mentally I am not okay… I guess I have to prove this to you.


8 thoughts on “Dear Government:

  1. I’m so sorry to read this update Katie… I can’t believe you have to prove anything. You’ve already been through so much. Very emotional over here. Sending love your way, if there is anything we can do, just let us know!


  2. I can’t believe that you received a letter like that. It is just unbelievable that they can deny you. This makes me very angry and my heart breaks for you as you do not need any more disappointment in your life right now. I am absolutely disgusted. I know things don’t seem to bright but stay positive and keep smiling..!!!


  3. Dear Dear Katie,

    You know of me, but we have yet to meet. I could sit here and type out platitudes until the cows come home, but I am sure you have heard most of them already and right now can’t see the sense in them.

    What I can tell you is that hearing your story, along with our own family and friends battle with cancers of various types that you are part of the inspiration for us to focus on Cancer Care at our new spa and wellness centre.

    Your journey is tough and it sucks! But you are right CANCER DID PICK THE WRONG BROAD!! I love that!!! It has been a lot of emotional bad news lately, almost unsurmountable. PLEASE keep the sense of humour that it took for you to come up with that slogan, because as you know you have to have a sense of humour to get through this.

    My stepson was diagnosed with cancer in December. He has finished his chemo (first round sent him back into the hospital for 12 days during Christmas) and has started on his radiation. I reminded him at the beginning of this experience that his new normal was different and that he would have to get used to that then as progressing through stages of recovery his normal would progress with him. Now ending this treatment he agrees that his normal has changed and actually got better.

    I get that this is not the same as loosing a breast with the possibility of having to go through that surgery all over again, and also with the devastation of hearing that your embryos were not viable. Again another grieving process to go through. BUT I do know that you have support, which you need and you will get through this. The good, bad and the ugly. You WILL reach a day when you wake up and all of a sudden you realize later in the day that your first thought was not of cancer. It’s hard to believe that day will arrive, but I promise you it will.

    Your blog is so honest. What a great gift for everyone to read. To realize what they have, what they could miss and for those going through what you are going through to feel that they are not alone.

    We will meet when you are ready. I really can’t wait to hold your hand, look into your amazing eyes…seriously and those cheek bones of yours…WOW and tell you that you are not just a patient or someone to be poked and prodded. That you are a lovely human being who can do so much with your new found knowledge, albeit found by a terrible experience, but found never the less. I am hoping that we can work together in the near future.


    1. Thank you so much Wendy 😘
      I cried reading this. I can’t wait to meet you and to visit your new spa. I see it being lovely and very welcoming.
      I can’t wait to give you a big hug. Xo


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