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December Dare to Share

December 10, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


I AM JESSICA!! Who you ask? I’m a born and raised Chatham girl.  After high school, and a few attempts at a post-secondary education, I just wanted MORE…sooooo I loaded up the Jetta and moved to Cal-ga-ry. Xx J

While in Calgary, my drive to succeed helped me achieve some pretty cool milestones in my career. I started out as a receptionist since I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, and you have to start somewhere. Fast forward 8 – 10 years and I was working as an Executive Assistant with some of the top oil executives in town. ME….a small town girl with a high school diploma. HA!

I was working for the President of an oil company that was building a new project in Fort McMurray.  As the project progressed, they needed someone to move that oil once it started coming out of the ground. Enter promotion – out of the admin world into the oil scheduling and logistics – a whole different ball game. In three years, I was moving the most oil out of the Alberta oil sands/day, and also scheduled the loading of the first railcar of crude oil in Fort McMurray.

With that success came sorrow…suddenly my whole life changed in the blink of an eye…….I found a lump. L Ten days later I heard those three words you never want to hear…..you have cancer (smaller font so we don’t give it any power). I went from working 60 – 80 hour weeks to nothing but back-to-back-to-back medical appts. I found out the prognosis, and now it was time to fight the fight of my life (or so I had thought at that time).  Two surgeries, four rounds of IV chemo and 16 rounds of radiation I was ready to go back to my REAL life.

Tried to go back to my logistics career and that didn’t work out like planned. Unfortunately, that REAL life no longer existed.  I was different and challenged because of my treatment, so I went back to being an Executive Assistant.  I could do this job well and almost on auto pilot. I went back to a previous employer and worked for their energy team.  It was a better pace for me and after that fight I needed to slow down a bit.

Life was rocking, and I was back educating myself while working full time.  Never in a million years did I expect to ever hear those words again in my life, however this time it wasn’t you have cancer and here’s your treatment plan.  This time there was no end to treatment date.  This time there was no cure.  Stage IV metastatic breast cancer in the bones.  WHAT THE F@#%??

I knew this time I needed to move home to be with my family. Last year I flew back to Chatham-Kent for a slower pace of life, and to focus all my attention to health and healing.

I was leaving all of my cancer resources behind but I still needed support. I started up the Chatham-Kent Cancer Support group on Facebook in July 2019.  We have had a few virtual meetings (due to covid) and love that I am getting support but also providing my knowledge to others to help.

My journey has provided me with a very clear perspective on life…..it’s short!!! It also has made it very clear what my purpose, in this thing called life, is supposed to be. I get excited when I can help people and that’s my primary focus now, aside from my own health.  I want to educate and provide people with knowledge in order to advocate for themselves.

So live in the moment, and fulfill every day. Nurture your relationships and be happy.  These are the most important things in life for me!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 525 082 4023


December 10, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Ontario Canada


Debbi Sluys
(519) 401-6068
View Organizer Website