Breast cancer patient finds a silver lining in cancer

By Maria Georgiou
Interview by Kemeisha McDonald


Dory Kashin was just starting off her career with hopes and dreams for the future, when life suddenly unraveled.  At the age of 29, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  

“I was diagnosed on January 14 and had my surgery on February 10. All my appointments were scheduled before that surgery, everything was pretty fast moving,” says Dory.

After four months of chemotherapy, 25 rounds of radiation and a double mastectomy at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Dory was on the road to recovery, although there were some obstacles she had to overcome. 

“It’s a psychological thing to lose your breasts and hair,” says Dory. “This was a big deal for me, it felt like my femininity was gone. It was important for me to make the decision to have reconstructive surgery.”

Laura Mitchell, a Clinical Nurse Specialist at The Princess Margaret, recommended programs and resources available to help Dory through the healing process.

“Joining breast cancer communities was an important part of my recovery. Everything Laura recommended, I looked into. It helped to talk with people who were going through the same experience as me,” adds Dory.

The surgery and chemotherapy were a difficult experience, but she had the support of her family, partner and friends. 

“My relationship with my partner changed. It pushed us to talk about some serious things. We had to make tough decisions right away,” says Dory. “Now I know we can take on anything because we’ve been through something really tough together.”

Dory and her partner had to discuss the option of fertility preservation right away and were not yet married at the time. Luckily, it was an easy decision for the couple. 

“I went through a round of fertility preservation and I am lucky I was able to do that,” says Dory. “I knew I wanted to be a mother. Even though there was still an 80 per cent chance of conceiving naturally, I wanted to keep my options open.”

Today, Dory and her partner are thrilled to announce that they will be expecting a baby girl at the end of October. She hopes that sharing her experience will help give others going through similar journeys the hope and strength to carry on.


“Cancer took a lot from me. But as crazy as it seems, it’s given me opportunities that I never would have had before,” says Dory. “I volunteer more, I’m more confident, I’ve met amazing people that I never would have met before. The experience made me a stronger person.”

Learn more about the breast cancer program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, here.