October 7, 2016 • by Glen Ivy Contributor
On October 5th, 2016 we had the honor of working with 9 beautiful Breast Cancer survivors. They each wrote about their journey in their own words.
My name is Mary Jaramillo. I will be 58 years old this month (October). My mother was 50 years old when she died, after being diagnosed with breast cancer at 48. Because of family history, I have always been proactive. I started my yearly mammograms at the age of 35. In 2009, my husband and I made a move to Hawaii and back again to California in 2011. With all of the busyness of living and moving, I ended up skipping a few years of mammograms.
In July of 2014, while going with my cousin to get her mammogram, I finally made my appointment. July 24th was my mammogram, biopsy on August 13 and diagnosed August 18, 2014, with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) (a non-invasive cancer where abnormal cells have been found in the lining of the breast milk duct.). I got lucky. I was not shocked with the diagnosis and my first thoughts were to “just get rid of them” so on September 25, 2014 I had a double mastectomy. I have felt so blessed throughout, with so many wonderful friends and loved one’s support. I always knew my decision was a good one, for me.
Life was going well, Breast Cancer – gone, CHECK…got my reconstruction, CHECK… feeling good, CHECK…when I started to have some bleeding and thought it should be taken care of, along with some skin spots that should also be looked at. So I had a colonoscopy and when I woke up, I was told I had Anal Cancer. I was told that the HPV virus was the reason for this cancer. (totally unrelated to my breast cancer) This was a shock. I was going to have to have Chemotherapy and Radiation. My first thought… I’m going to loose my hair. (My hair happened to be down to my rear end.) I cried. I then decided, with prayer, I would be fine. I cut my hair shorter and I started my Chemo and Radiation on March 14, 2016. I finished treatment on April 20, 2016 and still had some hair, on my head. On August 5, 2016, I had a pet scan, which showed no signs of cancer. I’m in remission! I have had some skin cancers and because of my white, freckled skin, I will always need to be proactive with that but I’m good.
All I can say is… BE PROACTIVE, GET A MAMMOGRAM, SEE YOUR DOCTOR, EARLY DETECTION WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, DON’T BE AFRAID, BE POSITIVE, LOVE YOURSELF.
I’m feeling stronger and know I’ve come out on the other side. I am a warrior! I am Blessed!
Check out Kimberly’s Story HERE
Check out Kathy’s Story HERE
Check out Debbie’s Story HERE
Check out Janelle’s Story HERE
Check out Maja’s Story HERE
Check out Crystal’s Story HERE
Check out Laura’s Story HERE
Check out Sylvia’s Story HERE