Alberta Cancer Foundation

Barb Laplante – A 24-year cancer journey

Barb cancer patientBarb Laplante’s journey with cancer began in 1998 when she was diagnosed with large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma in her tonsil. Despite being told she had a 50% chance of surviving for more than five years, Barb underwent chemotherapy and continued her treatment for five years.

Fast forward to 2018, Barb was diagnosed with stage 2+ breast cancer, which led to a lumpectomy to remove two tumours and several rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments. Unfortunately, during her post-treatment assessment, nodules in her lungs and a mass on her thyroid were discovered.

cancer patient

The following year, a tumour was found on her T1 vertebra, which was determined to be related to stage 4 thyroid cancer that had spread to her spine and lungs. Barb underwent surgery to remove her thyroid gland and the T1 vertebra, followed by radioactive iodine treatment. Despite the extensive treatments, the bone tumour and nodules in her lungs persisted.

Barb then chose to go on Lenvima, an oral cancer drug, which has been effective so far. However, in April 2022, an infection was discovered in her spine, requiring another surgery.

Despite the challenges, Barb remained resilient and expressed gratitude for the support from her doctors, nurses, family, and friends.

It was determined that another spinal surgery was required due to an infection in the hardware in her spine. Barb stayed in the hospital for three weeks after the surgery, and shortly after she left for home, she faced critical complications with her incision – due to this she will likely be on antibiotics for the rest of her life.

“Although my saga is a long one, it is a story of survival and a testament to the great treatment I have received at the Tom Baker through my three types of cancer and there’s still more to come.”

We are the official fundraising partner for all 17 Cancer Control Alberta cancer centres in Alberta, including the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary. You can support these crucial facilities here.