I was pregnant with my second child and everything was going very well. My husband and I had a little girl and now we were expecting a boy. During my eighth month, I found a lump in my breast. My obstetrician told me it was most likely a plugged milk duct, which occurs often during pregnancy.
Three ultrasounds, a needle aspiration, a biopsy and a mammogram later, I was given the life-changing diagnosis. Breast cancer does not run in my family. I have always been fit and have always eaten a healthy diet. I don’t eat red meat or foods that contain fat. How could this happen to me?
I was immediately scheduled for a C-section so that if needed, I could start treatment right away. Because the lump grew to the size of a plum, I had to have a mastectomy, which took place two days after the C-section. Fourteen lymph nodes were taken and fortunately, all came back negative! No need for chemo. No need for radiation.
My husband had to take a leave of absence from his job to take care of our children and me. My husband is Hispanic, and there are certain things “men” don’t do—like change diapers and clean the house. Well, he dropped this attitude and was there for the baby and me 110 percent and still is!
I’ve since had two reconstructive surgeries. My body is surgically disfigured and I look like a map, but I don’t care. I’m alive! I used to be vain but after something like this, you can’t help but value life more than anything. I am blessed that I was given a second chance at life. My mission now is to help others who are suffering from this terrible illness. I have formed a team and will support Susan G. Komen for the Cure® by walking in the Breast Cancer 3-Day®.