After two bouts of cancer, Nancy Tadashore, 70, hasn’t quit running.
In fact, she just won a half-marathon.
Nancy was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 during a regular checkup.
Her battle then involved removing the tumour through a lumpectomy, and eight chemo and 25 radiation treatments in Sudbury.
“It was pretty scary not knowing what is going to happen. Whether I’ll see my grandkids — stuff like that. We had a lot of cancer in the family, so I wasn’t sure I was going to make it,” said Nancy, whose parents and grandparents all had cancer.
Her hair fell out, she had to wear scarves and ball caps, and then she was on medication for five years, but she still recovered.
Although already a healthy and active person, in 2012 Tadashore saw how much fun her daughter Marlo Tadashore was having running marathons and thought it might be something for her to get into as well.
The mother-daughter pair quickly made running and going on adventures around the world their ‘thing’.
Besides running around four times a week either together or alone, the two travelled to Las Vegas for a 10km event, four half-marathons, and went on adventures like hiking to Machu Pichu in Peru, or kayaking the Patagonia in Argentina.
They also partook in many charity running events like Relay for Life, Terry Fox Run, and Run for the Cure and once or twice a year they go on a major trip.
“We don’t do churches and museums, we do wineries and happy hours,” said Nancy, illustrating the flavour of their trips.
However, in May 2017, after a regular check up, Nancy found out she had breast cancer again.
“When I found out (I had cancer), I was sick — my whole family was. We couldn't believe it was back,” said Nancy.
In the years since Nancy’s first diagnosis, both her sisters had cancer, and one of them died from it.
“There was no more fooling around as far as having a lumpectomy,” said Nancy. “I told doctors to just get rid of it — cut it right out. I wasn’t going to wait for it to come back a third time… I wanted to live.”
However, right after diagnosis, Nancy called up Marlo and told her to book a trip to Maui in October so they could run a half-marathon there.
She did it to motivate herself to get through the double mastectomy and recovery process.
The procedure was done in the Sault and it basically only put her in the hospital overnight.
“You were supposed to take six weeks off but by three weeks she was running again,” said Marlo. “The first time (with cancer) took almost a year (but the second time) it almost didn’t interrupt her life.”
Nancy says getting through an ordeal like that is about having a good support network and staying positive.
“And you have to have a positive attitude, it’s the positive attitude that gets you through. You can sit and cry about it or get out and do things,” said Nancy.
It may have been the hardest run they’ve ever done because of the heat, but Maui was a blast said Marlo.
“It’s amazing, there’s not many people that get to run half marathons with their 70-year-old mother,” said Marlo, who added she wasn’t surprised her mom was able to do the trip. “She’s pretty tough.”
Not only was Nancy able to go on the trip, but she came in first place in her age group.
“You can’t really be any more proud of her — it’s amazing,” said Marlo.
Nancy says having cancer is of course terrible but her advice to others battling it is to fight through it — “there’s a rainbow at the end.”
“Keep active and it’s very important to keep a positive attitude, that’s the most important thing,” said Nancy. “Get yourself up and dressed. Don’t sit home and moan and groan. Even if you just go out for a walk, or go for coffee.”