Maria’s story of HER2 positive breast cancer survival was presented in the December chapter of the Breastlink Angels 2014 calendar.
HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Survival Story | Maria M.
- Diagnosis – December 2011, January 2012
- 2011 – Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
- 2012 – HER2 positive
December 2011 Living life and proud Mother of two kids, Cristina and Jonathan, and blessed to be the Tia (as they call me) to Ethan and Alyssa, Daddy my brother Gustavo and Lorraine.
Fortunate to be married to the love of my life Larry for 26 years and having fun spending time with my family, friends, traveling, going to the river, off-roading and then came… “My Bend in the Road.”
Diligent about scheduling my yearly mammogram, I visited my doctor on December 2, 2011 and this year Dr. John West said I needed further testing. My feelings were of devastation, anger and scared, not knowing if I would be around for another Christmas.
My diagnosis was Non Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. So December 28th, as my family and I were driving back from Glamis, Dr. West called and said, “I have good news and bad news.”
The good news was that my cancer was only in one breast. The bad news was that I was going to need a mastectomy. Yahoo… only one BOOB gone… no problem!
I vowed to fight and go forward and do whatever my doctors recommended as treatment so I scheduled my surgery as soon as Dr. West was available on Jan 18, 2012. Then came my appointment with Dr. John Link was January 26, 2012. Not expecting his news my husband and I went to the appointment.
Dr. Link said that the pathology report had come back from my surgery and that I was going to need chemotherapy and herceptin as I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and was HER2 positive. Dr. Link explained my options and feeling numb I went forward with his recommendation.
I have been blessed to be involved volunteering with the Be Aware Foundation with my great buddy Maria for many years. I had long believed in the importance of monthly self-exams and yearly mammograms and the importance of early detection.
When my diagnosis came, I felt I was at the best place and knew I had a great medical team, Dr. John West, Dr. Justin West, Dr. John Link and Donna Valentine. I can not say that I am still not scared at times when I get some aches and pains but I know I can pick up the phone and my team is there to help me along my Bend in the Road.
Cancer made me realize how much I am loved and reminds me to never take those I love for granted and to try to make a difference for others. I have come to understand why some refer to cancer as a “Gift.” My faith has increased and my friends multiplied. My Bend in the Road seemed to be a long one but I vowed to stay positive and was inspired by my belief in God and all the great people I met on my road. I embrace the blessing of each new day.
The support I received from my family and friends and people that I met through my journey has been a humbling experience. I am so grateful for their love and support and all the times they have been with me thru my appointments or just sitting next to me or bringing food. I am blessed, and cancer has changed my life.
I even have more appreciation for every day God gives me. My inspiration is my husband, kids, and family. I continue to pray to live to be over 80, dancing with my grandkids and their kids. I let go and let God share my load. I have faith in a brighter tomorrow ……
The gift for life…….. This was just a Bend in my Road.