Profession: International Director at La Rosa Del Monte Worldwide
Type of Breast Cancer: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, HER2+
Year of Diagnosis: 2014
Number of years as a survivor: 4
Relationship to Susan G Komen: Received services from Komen grantee; Race Participant
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer a couple months after my 40th birthday. Until this point, I had undergone 2 mammograms, an ultrasound, and a biopsy but I still thought everything was fine. I had the misconception that since breast cancer, actually cancer in general, had never affected anyone in my huge family, I wouldn’t be the exception. Like myself, many people believe cancer is genetic, and that is not the case at all, especially with breast cancer, where 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with it in the USA alone.
At first, the diagnosis overwhelmed me with thoughts of not having the opportunity to see my kids grow up, get married, and see my grandchildren. I also had a few moments of “why me?!” However, once breast cancer became bigger than me, it turned into an opportunity to not only fight for my life but also serve as an opportunity to educate others. It gave me a chance to show my children how to be strong. I was proud when most of my family and friends scheduled mammograms following my diagnosis.
Breast cancer has made me appreciate being alive. It has made me recognize how lucky I am to have accessible and first-rate care. My husband and children kept me going. The one positive aspect of my journey has been LOVE. I was able to see how fortunate I am to have so much LOVE and support from our immediate and extended families, friends, co-workers, and church family. It was just so amazing and yet so humbling. It made me LOVE my family more, LOVE my life, LOVE being able to wake up another morning. I refused to give up being there for my family. I never stopped working, and breast cancer never took my faith. I am proud to be a survivor, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. No matter how bad it gets, nothing beats the horror of cancer as seeing a smile on a loved one’s face!