With no breast cancer in my family history, I believed I was at very low risk... By Graciela Guzman

MY CANCER DIAGNOSIS.

In August of 2016, I had held back on getting my first mammogram until the age of forty-six; with no breast cancer in my family history, I believed I was at very low risk. Even when my gynecologist referred me to a surgeon for a biopsy, I still did not believe I could have cancer; my left breast had always been a little dense, but I had no lumps of any size. I was so sure of a negative diagnosis that I went to the biopsy results visit by myself during lunch. As soon as my surgeon walked in and asked, "Where is your family?", my heart sank to my stomach. We exchanged a few words; however, the shock was so great, it was impossible to process. My only question was if I could have surgery in December during Christmas break, I am a high school teacher. He gave me three weeks to get my things in order—I had my mastectomy in September.

MY MOTIVATION. 

I was asked to speak at our Brownsville ISD Mile of Hope Event at Sam’s Stadium and share my survivor story just a few days after my lymph node surgery; I had the physical strength being that I hadn’t started chemo yet but questioned my emotional one. As difficult as it was, I chose to speak because I wanted to encourage my community to get checked early, especially if there is a family history of this ugly disease. I continue to speak at this event every October ❤️. In the last couple of years, I have lost a dear fellow warrior and a few family members, but my resolve remains strong and I choose to continue fighting in their honor.

MY ADVICE TO OTHER WARRIORS. 

I have always been a glass half full kind of girl; although I did have days where I broke down mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I knew I had to pick myself up because life still had a lot to offer me. Coconut water is great for hydration and so are Pedialyte popsicles.
Always treat yourself!

 

MY LIFE WITH CANCER.

I am an extremely strong spiritual determined woman; although chemotherapy weakened my body, it did not weaken my resolve. I chose to schedule chemo on Thursday afternoons, so that I could teach in the morning, get dropped off at TX Oncology by my husband (I asked him to return to work; we teach at the same high school), and finally get picked up to go home to struggle with the ugly side effects💔. The next day, I reported to work. My Hanna ECHS Family surrounded me with so much love and support, I did NOT fight alone❤️. When I lost my hair, I killed the various looks with modern wigs and hair scarfs. So many family members, friends, neighbors, and sometimes strangers constantly gifted me money, dinners, cleaning services. Sometimes I questioned if I was worthy of so much grace. I always made it a point to walk every day. I started with going to my mailbox and back, and slowly to the neighbor’s mailbox and back; every week was one more mailbox, until I could walk one mile and then two a day. I now continue to walk every day for two to three miles, rain or shine, hot or cold.

Without a doubt, the cancer journey strengthened an already strong relationship with my family ❤️.

2 comments

A year ago I was diagnosed with Brest cancer, which was not in my family. After conquering through chemo & surviving I am now waiting on my haur to grow back. I now do have a crew cut! Loll, but regaining my long hair would be more fulfilling. Especially through tgr fall and winter season. Thankfor all of your appeciation.

Kim Poole November 03, 2021

I was the first in my family to get breast cancer still don’t understand how l got it don’t drink or smoke

Kimberly Davis October 18, 2021

Leave a comment

Did you know?

Medical wigs are covered by insurance for chemo patients struggling with hair loss. We can help you qualify for a wig through your insurance at no cost.

Qualify Now.