FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Mannie Lenz says she would like to thank the community for their support after her cancer diagnosis and during her ongoing treatment.
In February, Lenz ended up in the emergency room at the Fort St. John Hospital after falling ill. Doctors kept Lenz while they tried to figure out what was causing her sickness before discovering she had cancer.
Since then, she’s been in chemotherapy which may go on indefinitely. Lenz says she will eventually need radiation as well.
She adds that the community support she’s received has made her situation “so much easier” to handle compared to fighting all by herself.
When initially diagnosed, Lenz says she didn’t want to tell anybody but eventually told her boss and some co-workers. They asked to organize fundraisers for her, and after about a month of avoiding the question, Lenz finally agreed.
Aside from the fundraising efforts, community members have sent her money directly, including people she doesn’t know.
“Honestly, I’ve had nothing but positive feedback,” she said.
She says that even a simple Facebook message can help her through the rougher days.
“[It] literally can break my fear and give me that extra energy just to continue on,” said Lenz.
“There are days I can’t drive my vehicle cause I know that’s how weak I am. A lot of the normal things I did that I was used to doing, I can no longer do.”
Lenz describes herself as a former workaholic, but now that she can’t work, she has taken some time to think more about herself.
In the future, she wants to start a home business so she can be self-sufficient after being inspired by Debbie Oberlin, owner of Blue Ribbon Fudge.
Lenz also wants to thank the doctors and nurses taking care of her and helping her through chemotherapy.
“They’ve been adjusting everything for me every time to try and make my cycles a little bit better for my body to handle,” she said.
Lenz believes her overall health has improved since she started treatment, which she says is “probably weird.”
Lenz wants to remind the community that other residents may not know who someone is, but they will always help them if they require support.
“It’s just a great, big thank you to the community for all the support that they’ve given.”