My journey began at the age of 39. During a regular mammogram, malignant tumors in my breast and cervix were discovered. After I was diagnosed with cancer, my ex-husband decided to leave the marriage. I found myself dealing with cancer, a divorce and raising two children.
I had two surgeries in one day, and treatment after surgery was seven weeks of radiation. I had to move in with my parents because I was unable to care for my then 11- and 13-year-old daughters. I needed support from other survivors that could identify with the fear and the changes my body went through during treatment, so once a month I attended a cancer survivor support group.
Two years later the cancer returned, and I underwent another surgery. After surviving cancer the first time, I was more informed about the type of services available to those fighting the disease. When I moved to Irving, Texas, I found an oncologist and a cancer support group with the Baylor Health System. Our support group meets once a month with different medical providers to answer questions about treatment, nutrition, wigs and referrals.
Being diagnosed with cancer has changed my life for the better. I now care about the wellbeing of others, even if the individual is not a cancer patient or survivor.