Our next piece is named after Khansa Rashid who was diagnosed in 2016 at the age of 35 with breast cancer. When asked what her initial reaction was to her diagnosis she explained that she initially felt fear and confusion. She was overwhelmed by the medical jargon and the unknowns of chemotherapy, biopsies, and lymph nodes. She was also angry and felt that it was unjust to face this challenge, especially since she had always advocated for a healthy lifestyle. She felt a sense of isolation and disconnect from the world, it seemed as though her life had suddenly stopped while everyone else continued to move forward. When asked Khansa how the breast cancer affected her mental health she explained that over the course of her treatment, she found herself in a very dark place where she questioned if she’d ever have a normal life again. Seeing her surgical scars were emotionally triggering, she was put on medical therapy, and from there her mental health further deteriorated. The medication changed her personality, leaving her in a state of despair and anger. She also felt guilty about the impact on her loved ones, especially her son. When asked what her biggest fears surrounding her cancer diagnosis was she explained her greatest fears revolved around not being able to support her son during his formative years and provide him with the care he deserved. She was worried that she may not witness his growth and be there to support him throughout his life. She also worried that she hadn’t done enough for others and wouldn’t be able to be in the future. When asked Khansa what was her biggest self discovery after her diagnosis she explained she learned to love and be compassionate towards herself. She became grateful for the small victories, good days, and precious moments in life. She began to seek out hidden blessings and deepened her spiritual connection with her Creator. A friend once mentioned to her that a test is disguised from a punishment by whether it brings one closer to their faith. She decided that this was a test meant to reconnect her with God. When asked her what the most difficult part of her journey was and how she overcame it she explained it was the five year journey she spent on medication. While chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries were physically demanding, the medications took a toll on her mental and emotional well-being. She realized that to combat cancer effectively, maintaining a positive outlook is crucial, as stress can affect the body. This is sometimes overlooked but its perhaps the most crucial part of battling cancer. When asked Khansa what was a positive take from her diagnosis she explained there were several positive outcomes that resulted from her diagnosis. One of her favourite one is the Breast Cancer Fundraiser she initiated. When the CIBC Run for the Cure was postponed during the pandemic, her and her friends organized their own event, a “pink picnic” where they ran or walked 5 km, had a barbecue, and engaged with the kids. They’ve been able to raise awareness among the next generation and, this year, they were able to donate nearly $4000 directly to the Cross Cancer Institute. When asked what advice Khansa would give to someone going through breast cancer right now she explained that doctors often focus on the positive aspected of ones treatments, as they should. However, they may not fully convey how challenging cancer and its treatments can be. It is crucial to ask questions, pay attention to your body signals, and be mindful of your nutrition. Drinking plenty of water, daily movement, a diet rich in whole foods, grains, and vegetables are essential. Journaling can help process your emotions. Surround yourself with people who uplift you and provide you with a spiritual connection, while setting boundaries with those who tend to focus on despair. Their intentions may be well-meant but unhelpful. Remember that thanks to awareness and research, breast cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer. You will overcome it.
The Khansa Forest Green Satin Maxi dress is absolutely gorgeous. What we love about this dress is the dropped sleeve hem, which allows for more room in the chest. You can wear the dress with or without a belt.