City woman ready for second round in cancer fight

Krista Pask, 33, has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer – 14 years after being officially declared cancer-free. Submitted Photo

Tara Jeffrey

Krista Pask was in high school when she conquered cancer 17 years ago.

Now that it’s returned, she’s ready to fight even harder.

“I’d rather it be me, than say, one of my sisters or friends,” said the 33-year-old Sarnia woman. “Because I’ve been down this road before, and I know I can do it again.”

Pask, who was once the Relay for Life’s ‘Face of Hope’ after battling synovial sarcoma as a 16-year-old SCITS student, received the devastating news this summer that she has breast cancer — stage 3 invasive mammary carcinoma.

She had officially been ‘cancer-free’ for 14 years, and even her doctors are baffled at the diagnosis, she said.

“It’s still shocking for me to say, ‘I have cancer again,’” she said. “But I’m only given what I can handle, and I am going to handle this as best I can.”

Following her diagnosis, the travel consultant decided to launch a blog (https://paskkrista.wixsite.com/thatgirlsgotmoxie) to keep her family and friends updated, but also to raise awareness and reach out to others who might be struggling.

The site, aptly titled, ‘That Girl’s Got Moxie’ — meant to describe someone with courage and determination — gives a raw, honest glimpse into her journey, documenting everything from chemotherapy (she’s completed two rounds in Sarnia so far) to the decision to undergo gruelling and emotional fertility treatment (she was able to successfully retrieve and freeze two eggs).

And she’s already been inundated with messages from women reaching out for support.

“I’m not one to be so public, and I was afraid that people might think I was doing it for the wrong reasons or for attention,” she admitted. “But I figured, why not use my situation for something positive? It’s been accepted and shared and that’s all I ever wanted.

“This is going to help someone else.”

She’s even posted photos of her dad shaving her head — a decision she made defiantly, from day one.

“Hair is not what makes me,” said Pask, noting she won’t be donning a wig this time around. “It’s sort of my own way of saying, ‘you’re not going to conquer me this time.’”

Her family, including her mom, a palliative nurse, are her rocks, Pask said.

“It’s not just my cancer journey — we are all going through it together.”

Pask is unable to work while undergoing treatment — her last round of chemo is Dec. 31, followed by planned surgery and radiation — so friends and family organized an Oct. 19 fundraiser at the Point Edward Optimists Hall that’s already sold out.

“It’s definitely going to be a long journey,” she said. “But I still wake up every morning and find my positive. Like, I’ve already got two rounds of chemo down, and only four to go.”

Attitude, she said, is everything.

“It’s easy to be negative, but I choose to be positive. That’s when I feel the most alive.”