Profession: Director of Operations at DATAMEMORYUSA LLC
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Number of Years as a Survivor: 1 year
Relationship to Susan G. Komen: Received services through Komen Grantee
I thought 2016 was going to be my year. So much to do, so much to accomplish! But on February 2016, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I never thought this could happen to me, a healthy 41 year old woman. I went thru many phases, including denial, sadness, anger, fear; yet the most common question was “Why me?” I was shocked, we don’t have cancer in my family, but soon after I found out that having no family history doesn’t make you immune.
My journey was not easy. I had a lot of ups and downs, but cancer was not going to defeat me. I had so much to fight for, including my two beautiful kids, Alexandra and Sebastian, and my husband Victor. They were my inspiration! My family, who unfortunately lives overseas, found the means to be with me. My parents, brothers, in-laws, nephews, grandparents, aunts and uncles gave me hope and strength. I am blessed to have them, and wish I could name them all.
Just when I thought I was done, and already in remission, I had a recurrence on my left breast and lower abdomen area within 9 months of my original diagnosis. I couldn’t believe I was again living through this nightmare. This time my treatment was much more aggressive, painful, and with severe side effects. Once again my loved ones gave me the support and love to continue the battle for my life; the battle to survive and be healthy again. I knew cancer would not defeat me in our “second round.” I firmly believed that anything was possible; I just had to believe and have faith.
My journey has not been easy, but now when I look back, I count all the days as true blessings. My faith is stronger than ever, my family is closer, and I’ve met wonderful people along the way. I enjoy every moment and see each day as a miracle and gift. I knew all along that I was not alone and that God was with me. I now know that God selects his strongest warriors for these battles, and if you were chosen, have pride and continue your journey. Don’t ask why me? Instead, ask yourself for what? What is the purpose of all this? In my case, I now know that my purpose is to give back, to continue to share my story to help other women like me, to be inspiration, to bring hope and to offer encouragement to others. If you read my story, please believe me when I say you are not alone, your faith will make miracles happen and it will give you strength that is beyond words. Don’t give up, no matter the circumstance. Stay strong!