Surviving Breast Cancer


Yesterday I was able to come face to face with a modern day hero.  She’s not just a hero, though.  She is a woman who is filled with courage.  She is made of power.  She bleeds bravery.

Yesterday, I met Zulma De La Cruz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zulma is an amazing woman who gave so much of her strength to fighting breast cancer.  She has now been cancer free for 9 years and lives a very healthy life.  Walking three times a day is no question for her.  Before she was diagnosed with HER/neu – stage 2 breast cancer, Zulma was as active as she is now.  She was in shock when she found out that she had breast cancer. “Why me,” she asked.  “I was healthy,”  she told me.

At first, she wasn’t sure what to do.  Zulma became very quiet and then started to cry.  It was a very confusing moment for her.  Many women who get this news become confused, too.  It is hard not to feel alone but there are other women out there who receive this devastating news at the same time as others.  You also have your family and friends who will be with you all of the way with their support.

Her doctor wanted to remove the breast cancer right away but Zulma said no.  “I wanted them to check me everywhere,” she said with concern.  The cancer could have spread and she did not want to take that risk of not knowing right away.  Her doctor told her no.  How can a doctor tell a patient ‘no?’  After her request was denied, she moved quickly to another doctor that ran more tests.  This wonderful person is still her doctor today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to know how she dealt with the whole situation.  Between coming to terms with the diagnosis and dealing with treatments there must have been a lot of thoughts in her mind.  Zulma told me that she kept busy.  Going to church, making crafts, and being with family were activities that kept her faith alive.  Being depressed and upset about the cancer was never on her agenda for the day.  What Zulma wanted was to be cancer free so she stayed positive to be able to fight through it.  Feeling comfortable with the doctors and nurses was also a big help during treatments.  When people are in the hospital they need care and respect to be able to deal with a sickness.  She said, “I took control of my life.”  She was able to take over her life before the breast cancer could.  If you are diagnosed with cancer, you too can take control of your life and beat cancer to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zulma is currently staying with her daughter, Melissa De La Cruz, in Los Angeles for a month.   This Saturday they are participating in the Revlon Run/Walk For Women.  My10online is sponsoring Zulma in the 3 mile walk and we are more than proud to do so.  She said that she participates in many cancer walks in Florida (where she lives) but this is the first time that she is able to be a part of the Revlon Run/Walk For Women.  It is exciting to see a mother and daughter walk for the cure together and to also be right there beside them.  I asked Zulma how she feels when she participates in cancer walks.  She responded with, “I feel great.  I am so proud of others.”  She said that it is a positive event and she is able to talk to other women who are dealing with cancer.  Even those who have survived it or are there for support get to help each other through those feelings as well.

Being able to talk to others about what you have gone through is a part of the healing process.  When Zulma started to lose her hair she immediately shaved it all off.  She didn’t want to see her hair slowly disappear so she just made it go away herself.  Wearing wigs was not an option because she didn’t like them.  Any time that she went outside she put a hat or a scarf on first.  These are feelings and opinions that can be shared with other women with breast cancer.  They might be scared or even ashamed to shave their head but after hearing courageous stories like Zulma’s, they might not think it’s that big of a deal anymore.

 

Fighting for your life is the one fight that is worth it.


Comments

5 Responses to “Surviving Breast Cancer”
  1. Jacquelyn says:

    You’re an awesome writer Kendra-excellent job!

    Great news Melissa..What a wonderful blessing to have your mom healthy and to be able to do the walk together on Mother’s Day weekend! Beautiful:)

  2. Adriana Rodriguez says:

    This is a great story to share with others. I cant imagine the feeling at all. I look forward to meeting your mommy one day Melissa. You and mommy have always been brave and nothing can ever stop you 2. Stay busy and let problems slip by……. be happy…. and enjoy life no matter what! Love you guys, Adriana

  3. sidney says:

    My mother was a breast cancer survior! She was a trooper all the way! Never a sad moment for her! Always happy, a wonderful woman who always made people laugh!! Unfortunately she passed away in October 2000 from complacations resulting from a stroke at age 70 ! She was cancer free eight years!! Loved this article, Kendra, and of course L O V E, L O V E, L O V E YOU!!!!

  4. Clare says:

    Great to go on a run ror breast cancer!! Have ran a few myself!! Great article Ken, & have fun on the run!!! : )

  5. Lee says:

    I have a friend who has breast cancer. She is having kemo and doing well!! I pray for a speedy recovery! She is a strong, loving, kind to everyone person!! My thoughts and prayers go out to her!! I love her and will be on my own run tomorrow for her!!!

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