November 2014 Archives

Surviving Cancer: An Interview with Theresa Priolo


DSC_9326.jpg(Photo Property of Julia Richard-Priolo)

"You'll never know the outcome, but if you have a lot of faith and you're strong, you have better chances of making it." When questioned about her support network during her two and a half year treatment, this was Theresa Priolo's answer, a 53-year-old lymphoma cancer survivor, wife, and mother of two. Armed with a bachelor in biology from our very own Concordia University (1986), and over 25 years of first-hand experience working at the Montreal General Hospital in parasitology, microbiology and hematology, Theresa's field experience elegantly compliments the retelling of her lengthy journey to recovery. Her knowledge base allows you into the world of a cancer patient's sentiments like never before seen, while her endless praise for church and family serves as a reminder that having a support network is key in all such circumstances.

An interview with a cancer survivor, one who has also worked in the very system she was treated, lends a fresh perspective to the inner workings of cancer rehabilitation. When asked about her treatment experience, Theresa affirmed that her specialized knowledge, experience, and personnel resources allowed her to be better prepared for the two-and-a-half-year-long journey she was about to embark on. "I was blessed, I really was. Within a week and a half, everything was done." How nerve-wracking it must have been to witness the systematic caring of patients from the opposite end of the health spectrum: Theresa was no longer the caregiver but now one of her own patients. She was now under the very microscope and scrutiny that her patients once were.