Cancer Sunnyview

After losing her nose to cancer, Becky shares her story to help others

Dealing with cancer is one thing. Dealing with cancer for fifty years is quite another. While this has been Becky Thomson’s reality, she acknowledges her self-proclaimed “cancer skirmishes” while still finding the joy to plan dinner parties, sing in a choir and volunteer. In her ongoing battle, there is no keeping this fine lady down.

I met Becky at her home a few weeks ago, and knew she had lost her nose to skin cancer years ago. I also knew that she had been fitted with a prosthetic nose by Sunnybrook’s Craniofacial Prosthetic Unit. She met me outside her sunny building and directed me on where to park. As I walked towards her to say hello (and if I hadn’t been looking for it), I literally wouldn’t have noticed her nose at all. The way it fit her face was so seamless that the only thing I noticed was her.

We sat and talked for a long time in her living room. All the surgeries and time recovering physically have been no match to the emotional challenges Becky has faced following her surgeries. She explained that as hard as some decisions are, you have to take a chance if they might save your life. In losing her nose, Becky survived. But after being fitted with a custom prosthesis at Sunnybrook, she’s now thriving. She can go out in public and not have to answer a million personal, and often difficult, questions about her appearance.

Becky Thomson has her prosthetic nose adjusted
Becky Thomson visits Sunnybrook’s
Craniofacial Prosthetics Unit.

Anaplastologists David Morrison and Todd Kubon say the prosthetics they meticulously craft are a success when they aren’t noticed at all. Both masters in their field, they spend their days meeting with patients, assessing their individual needs and determining if they want to move forward with a prosthesis. Some don’t, and Todd says one of the most important things is helping patients feel comfortable as they are.

If they do want a prosthesis, David and Todd get down to the artistry of rebuilding noses, cheeks, foreheads, ears and eye sockets. Patients may come to the clinic following a birth defect, trauma or cancer treatment. In each case, within about two weeks, they are able to help rebuild the most visual part of a person’s identity: their face.

Watch my video to hear Becky’s inspiring story, and meet David and Todd, two of the many people that make Sunnybrook so special.

About the author

Monica Matys

Monica Matys

Monica Matys is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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