Stan Stanczuk

Stan Stanczuk
I Call it ‘The Princess Margaret Hilton’.

The bed linens, robe and slippers may not be quite the same quality as the real Hilton, and there may not be chocolates on the pillow each night, but when it comes to room service for a cancer patient, the nursing staff at The Princess Margaret provides the very best. “They always have pleasant smiling faces, and answered my questions promptly and truthfully.” These are the words of a very grate ful cancer survivor, Stan Stanczuk.
For Stan, it all began as a lump on the right side of his neck that would not go down. After concluding that it was not a swollen gland, surgery was scheduled to remove the lump. When he woke up from the surgery, the doctor told him that they had found cancer on his right tonsil.
An individual treatment plan was developed quickly once the doctors had a good picture of what they were dealing with. Stan was impressed by how well organized and coordinated everything was. He had appointments scheduled with a dentist, a nutritionist, and a hearing specialist because his treatment would impact his body in a number of ways. For example, he lost 40 pounds during his treatment because eating became so painful.
Altogether, he had 35 rounds of radiation and 3 treatments of chemotherapy. Finally, surgery was scheduled to remove the lymph nodes on the right side of his neck.
Stan had an ironic twist to his relationship with The Princess Margaret. Prior to his cancer diagnosis, he had been working with the Foundation to help launch the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 200 km cycling ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls. He had formed one of the first teams: Team Cure Cancer. Then on January 17, 2008, he received his diagnosis, and gained a perspective on cancer treatment that he never expected to have. Despite his weight lose and arduous course of treatment which concluded on April 16, his team encouraged him to participate in the Ride that took place just two months later in June.
“I was the team captain, and we had been so successful with our fundraising (over $80,000!) that I decided I had to try. I’m so glad I did. ”
When asked how living with cancer has changed him, he replied “It’s shown me how good people really are. Many friends seemed to come out of the woodwork to help me through the process.”
Stan’s advice to anyone receiving a cancer diagnosis is “Deal with it…don’t give up. Cancer is one of the minefields you may encounter in life…you will get over it”.
Reviewed: October 2013