Breast Cancer Awareness
Imagine the shock of learning you have breast cancer only 32 years into your life…
Lisette Gonzalez experienced just that. Through self examination, she discovered a lump under her left breast. She and her husband had started a family, and were happily making plans for their future together. With a 5 year old starting kindergarten and a 2 year old at home, the breast cancer diagnosis was quite the curveball. Lisette did what everyone does now a days—she googled it, and found herself feeling hopeless. But rather than step away from the plate, Lisette swung with all her might, her husband coaching her all the way. She missed the first 2 pitches, but as the saying goes, “third time’s the charm"—she hit cancer out of the park.
"The world stopped. I thought the worst. I am 32. I have kids. I can’t die!"
"About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime." (breastcancer.org) And contrary to the popular belief that you are more at risk if you have had a relative with breast cancer, a shocking "85% of cases occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer." Lisette was negative for the gene and had no prior history in her family.
Whether you or someone you know are going through a similar experience, hopefully, Lisette’s story of triumph can help you push through and hit your own home run.
Knocking Breast Cancer out of the Park
by Lisette Gonzalez, Survivor
In all honesty, breast cancer is scary at any age, but when you're 32, just had kids, and thought your life was just starting, you truly feel hopeless. It is sad to say, but many doctors I have in my corner, believe that once a woman has a child their mammograms should always be covered. Women’s breast and hormones change, and it opens the door to cancer and other hormonal problems.
"The world stopped. I thought the worst. I am 32. I have kids. I can’t die!" After 8 rounds of chemotherapy and an operation to remove the cancer, I pulled an Angelina Jolie and did a double mastectomy. I was young at the time, but triple negative breast cancer is the worst kind, and I wanted to be sure we got it all. Despite the extreme measures, it came back 2 more times.
A lot of the recovery from surgery and during chemo is mental. If you do not have a strong mindset and want to move forward, and fight to live, then cancer may take your life.
This journey is a personal one and will test everything.
Does it suck?
Do you need a strong support system?
Will you come out stronger?
But before you get the whole family wearing pink ribbons, making suggestions about YOUR options, and general commenting from the peanut gallery, you need to admit you have cancer. Affirm that you will survive; and then help others after you have gone on your personal journey.
My husband is a baseball coach and since the first day we said, “Damn. God pitched me a curveball.” I got breast cancer 3 times! I kept going up to bat, and every time I heard remission, I felt such relief. We went the first time to doctors in Baptist, next to Houston for the second option, and the third time I put all my trust in Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and finally hit it out of the park.
Triple negative breast cancer is the strongest and worst type of cancer, the doctors are working to find a cure; you can’t just take a pill like the hormone type of breast cancer. Once you find out what kind of cancer you have, surround yourself with educated doctors. You think cancer center like in the commercials, “I don’t need that”. Well you know I didn’t either, but when you’re in that moment you want everyone treating you to try anything and everything in their power for you to beat cancer. The best thing I did was get out of my comfort zone and go out of state to find the treatment I needed.
This is a Me moment embrace it and take charge of your life.
I am proud to say I am now in remission and taking life day by day! Do not stress the little stuff. Every day with your kids is a blessing, spend time with them, talk to them. It’s the little things that they will always remember.