A place you can call your home


The house where I grew up with my grandparents

Holidays are generally hard for me. I know they must be for some of you as well.

I miss my home with my grandparents. How we would gather around the table with all kinds of different foods; some were only available to us during those special days. I miss seeing my aunts and uncles visiting from their colleges to join us, some with their girlfriends/boyfriends and some still single. I miss interacting with our neighbors by exchanging foods. How they would all join us on the dancing floor. I miss how we were all more trusting and kind to each other in the community. Even growing up in the Dominican Republic, society just seemed less dangerous. I miss how we would celebrate together as a family – everyone from the community. I really enjoyed those days and wish they were back.

I am sure most of us had at least one special memory we cherish and that we wish we could get back. Thanksgiving makes me think about those great memories and makes me feel grateful I had them. But this holiday also makes me reflect.

I realize I am an adult now. Everything in life evolves. There was a time I was taken care of. I now, as an adult, have the opportunity to build my own home and care for others. I am with my partner and my kitty Nelly. They are both what I call my home and I am grateful to have them both in my life.

I am also grateful for those people who aren’t related to me and still offer me their unconditional love and support. These people include all of you, readers. I’ve also found a home through my blog and you’ve all helped me create it so thank you.

For those of you struggling with the holidays, who might be alone, I wish you can find a sense of peace and community in any way you can. People nearby, or even people online, can provide support in new and different ways. Welcome them into your lives. Family can be found everywhere.

Please know I am thinking of all of you and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving and a place you can call your home.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home

Posted in Family, Reflections, Support | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

A dialogue with a nurse

nurseWhile the nurse was preparing my IV to get me ready for my breast MRI, she also asked questions about my well being – a great way to distract me. She already knew my dislike for needles.

“So how are you doing?” the nurse asked.

“Alright. I don’t like being here,” I replied.

As the nurse was reaching for the alcohol she said, “Every patient I see says the same thing. How are things outside the hospital?”

“Well, nothing is really the same anymore,” I replied as I looked away from my arm.

“What things are contributing to your struggles?” the nurse asked.

“People expect me to be done with cancer and to ‘stay positive’ and I can’t do it.”

“That’s because it’s not them dealing with cancer. They don’t want to deal with it because of their fear. It interferes with their comfort zone,” the nurse said as she tried to locate a good vein in my arm.

“Some of my relationships have changed. The dynamics just don’t feel the same way anymore.”

“Maybe they can’t adjust as well as you can,” the nurse said, spotting what she thought was a good vein. “Why don’t you make new friends? They will never know who you were. They will only know who you are today. And even if they don’t like it, you won’t be as disappointed because you hardly know each other.”

I had to interrupt her to let her know the vein she thought was good, really wasn’t. Then she continued setting up my IV and proceeded speaking.

“Do you want to know what the issue is? We hold on to things too much. We all do it. But everything is temporary. I know you want everything the same way it used to be and I am sorry you haven’t been receiving much support post cancer but…”

I interrupted her again.

“I find that even I am having a hard time accepting who I am today, and, just like my friends are holding on to the old me, I am doing the same without realizing it.”

The nurse continued speaking.

“Think of elementary school or high school, for example. How many of those friends still speak to you? You also don’t speak to them. You built different friendships throughout your life and there was a reason for that. We all evolve in some way or another. Life circumstances happen and not everyone is capable of coping with changes or adjusting. Remember, cancer is not the only contributor to change. You had gone through many changes before cancer happened. You will continue to do so. Cancer just happens to be another transition in your life. One you had no control over. The good news is you still have control over building new relationships and creating a healthier environment for yourself.”

“Yea, I have been through many transitions in my life. I remember some of my relationships had to end mostly because we weren’t comparable anymore. We were on different pages. I guess I feel vulnerable because of my illness. I expect people to understand. I want them to adjust the same way I had to adjust,” I said.

The nurse finally found a good vein then said, “there’s nothing wrong with being vulnerable. Just try not to be too hard on yourself. Your coping skills are your own and there is nothing wrong with them. You are not alone. Every patient who sits on that chair you’re sitting on has complained about the same things you’re telling me. I am not sure there’s a way to fix how others react with your cancer situation without forcing yourself to pretend. Personally, I think that makes things more complicated for you. You can only do your best.”

The nurse finished setting up my IV and directed me to the next room where I waited to be called for the MRI.

“Thank you for caring.” I said.

As I walked away from the nurse, she grabbed my shoulder and got closer to my face as if she was telling me a secret. “I want you to remember this, which I had to learn the hard way: expectations are the cause of all headaches.” We both paused for a few seconds. I processed her words and continued on my way.

Posted in Coping after cancer, Reflections, Support | Tagged | 11 Comments

My stages of awareness

Awareness comes with a level of burden. That’s why I once avoided it. But sometimes avoiding awareness can delay progress, especially when it comes to cancer.

I’ve thought of my different stages of awareness — from not having gone through the experience of cancer or knowing someone who has been diagnosed, to losing family members to the disease, to then being diagnosed myself. Each stage was sort of forced into my life. No one wants to deal with cancer.

I knew my great-grandmother had died of breast cancer at the age of 49, but no one else in my family had been diagnosed with breast cancer since. I was not directly exposed to the disease and no one in my family spoke about it.

I visited my doctors regularly because I was a bit of a hypochondriac. Doctors didn’t talk to me about cancer because my great-grandmother was three generations behind me, not close enough for me to worry about it (a myth!). But I also didn’t care much about educating myself on cancer, even though I knew it existed and that it could happen to anyone. Maybe I thought it couldn’t happen to me.

As I got older, others in my family started to get diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancers. I thought cancer was a death sentence, especially after losing my grandmother so quickly to ovarian cancer. She was living in the Dominican Republic at the time (1990’s) with limited resources and was immediately diagnosed as terminal. This created a fear in me which forced me to be more aware of cancer.

Then my great-aunt (my grandmother’s sister) was diagnosed with breast cancer. I still thought, “wait, this is a 2nd generation behind me so I should not worry.” My great-aunt died at 59 from metastatic breast cancer. I thought breast cancer was only one disease and so there was no reason for me to learn the details – it would have been too painful for me. I was scared enough after witnessing what she went through.

Later, I did some Walks, including the Revlon Walk which “supports all women’s cancers,” I thought. I even put together teams to raise awareness and money for the cause. However, I still did not research the organizations I was supporting. It felt easier to follow what others were doing because that was the type of awareness society was comfortable with. That I was comfortable with. During my walk I remember thinking, “I am walking for you,” without realizing cancer could hit me too.

Then came my time to get diagnosed with breast cancer. Shit just got serious. First thing I thought was, “I am going to die,” because no one else in my family had survived. I thought I was next. I moved fast because I believed that would make a huge difference. Reached out to Dr. Google every day to interpret my pathology report (bad idea). However, I did not research about metastatic breast cancer because that wasn’t related to my case. I mean, my cancer was caught early, plus I was negative for the BRCA mutations. I chose not to overwhelm myself with more information than I needed to deal with the situation at hand.

I joined an online forum during my treatments — a group of over 200 ladies and a few men. I knew their stories. Some were very similar to mine. Some of them eventually faced stage 4, and then died. I was exposed to a lot of information my doctors didn’t tell me — how sometimes tests aren’t accurate, or how having clear lymph nodes doesn’t mean my cancer won’t spread, for example. This pushed me to learn more about my disease. I realized then that the story of my breast cancer was only half told. It was not fun to learn all the facts about my disease. It added a burden of awareness I didn’t have before, but one that was important for me to know.

Since then, my other great-aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my great-uncle was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Next, my aunt was diagnosed with leukemia. Then, my dear cousin Glenny was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer this year, which took her life. All on my grandmother’s side of the family. Now I am eager to know everything.

So, I’ve come full-circle on awareness.

Educating yourself can make a huge difference on what decisions you make about your health. We often don’t advocate for things we think will never happen to us. We want to believe we will never face cancer, but even if we don’t, we can’t forget our family, our friends, and other women and men who are dying from this disease. We can’t deny awareness adds a burden to one’s life but sometimes that burden is necessary in order to achieve progress.

I now realize we are all in this together, regardless of our current health status and regardless of our cancer stage.

Posted in Awareness, c World, Reflections | 25 Comments

I’ve been diagnosed with life and so have you

IMG_2120We cancer patients get a lot of pressure from society about surviving cancer – we must fight until the end, even if it means we fight against ourselves. We’re often considered “winners” if we survive, but if we die from a cancer, we have “lost.” At least that’s the perception the military language has created.

Why are people so preoccupied about proving something? Why can’t we just accept that death is part of life too, regardless of the cause?

When we die from cancer, cancer also dies with us.

We want to be so detached from death that even when our bodies have expired, we want to place blame. Our bodies aren’t perfect. They can fail us at any age.

What prompted me to write about this was a message I saw from a family member a few weeks ago stating that she was supporting those in our family “battling” cancer as well as those who have “lost the battle” against it. I am not dismissing her good intentions, but I felt a little pressured. We all have an expiration date and we can’t control the outcome so it’s unfair to put such weight on us.

It isn’t helpful to patients to label their cancer as a “battle.” I know some patients use it as a form of self-cheering, which is acceptable because one must do what helps them cope. You can’t tell a cancer patient how to do their cancer, only they know best. The down side to this is that the military language has become part of the cancer culture, and that makes it unfair to patients who do not appreciate it. I personally never use it because I find it hard to separate cancer from me. It’s my DNA. I would feel like I was at war with myself if I called my cancer a battle.

I also don’t feel like a winner because I survived my cancer. I feel lucky.

It’s sad to me that our lives will eventually come to an end whether we are ready or not. It makes me even sadder that some die at a very young age. I am only in my 30’s and already facing a life-threatening illness. I have no choice. I can’t control what my body does. What I can control is what it eats and the amount of exercises it does, but just like raising a child, you do what you can and wish for the best outcome.

How is a terminal patient supposed to feel when he/she will be remembered as the one who lost his/her battle against cancer? What about their loved ones? I’ve felt hopeless, helpless and sad when a family member dies from cancer and I hear people describe it in such terms. What hopes does that leave for me when I fear the same kind of ending? Do not call my cancer a “battle.” I want to be remembered as someone who lived her life the best way she could under the uncontrolled and unexpected circumstances she was given, and hopefully, someone who inspired others along the way. Or not.

We don’t have a choice when it comes to mortality. Some will go sooner than others. And it certainly doesn’t mean you lost to anything. It means you’ve been diagnosed with life, and with that, comes mortality.

I’m living my life just like anyone else is. I get joy from life. Despite my cancer diagnosis, I still get up in the mornings to breathe the fresh air, to laugh, to cry and to create more memories. I allow myself to go through all the emotions life inspires. Every cancer patient I’ve known does the same.

I am aware I will face mortality one day – don’t know when or how – but if the cause is cancer, I hope my love ones would see it as what it simply is: my body has expired. At the end, there will be no winners because my cancer dies with me too.

Posted in Awareness, My Wishes | 20 Comments

Do not judge my choice of treatment (Warning: this is a ranting post)

It is a fact: we live in a society where everyone feels they need to have an opinion; but in many situations people don’t know what they are talking about. They repeat what they hear without questioning the information or act out of their emotions without considering the other person’s feelings.


Image courtesy of wikiHow

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had no idea what I would be dealing with. I knew I needed chemo because of my young age — my cancer was grade 3 and invasive. My doctors explained my options as far as treatments go. For surgery, I could have had a lumpectomy, which would have meant radiation was part of that plan, or I could have had a mastectomy, which would have excluded the radiation. I needed chemo no matter what. Now, when my surgeon explained the benefits of each surgery, he clearly stated that it didn’t make a difference with my current cancer which surgery I went with because there would always be a chance my existing cancer could come back. However, removing my breasts could have drastically lower the risk of getting a NEW cancer (breast cancer is not only one disease but multiple diseases).

I felt overwhelmed with the amount of information I received. I was also scared. You would think that with my family history of cancers I would be able to handle the situation better, right? NO WAY! Truth is, you never know how you’re going to handle it until you are faced with it. I also had some ideas on how bad it could get due to breast cancer deaths in my family, so that added more tension to my situation.

Anyways, I opted to have a lumpectomy with chemo and radiation because that was the best option for me at the time. It is a very personal choice what type of surgery to get, and I shouldn’t have to feel pressured by people who aren’t doctors — but who can’t help expressing those opinions — to explain why I made the decisions I did.

I’ve been told by more than one person that if it was them going through breast cancer, they would have had a mastectomy. Someone even asked why I didn’t remove my breasts. After all, they are only breasts. I hate it when cancer turns into gossip. To me, that was very insensitive and unhelpful.

I told this girl that she would never know how she would react if she was facing cancer until she actually does. I also told her I didn’t appreciate her judging how I choose to treat my cancer. The girl didn’t speak to me for months after this conversation because she felt “offended.”


Am I missing something?

This girl is not a close friend. What gives her the right to question my choices? And how is that comment supposed to help me? Does she expect me to call my surgeon the next day and tell him to get the anesthesia ready, that I am coming over for more surgery, because “someone” said I originally did the wrong thing? Is that supposed to make me feel better about my situation?

Come on people, have some empathy! You don’t have to always say something. But if you do, be kind.

I guess if I have to face cancer again, these people would probably have another discussion about how I didn’t listen.

I try not to be hard on myself. I have no regrets about having a lumpectomy, even if I may feel differently down the line. It was what I was able to handle. Now I have more knowledge than when I was sitting in my surgeon’s office discussing my treatment options. I did what I felt most comfortably doing at the time. I don’t know what my next choice would be if I ever have to face another cancer, but I trust myself to make the right decision for ME.

Same goes for chemo. Although I haven’t received many comments about that, I have heard people say there are “better options” than chemo. Well, if you think there is something better than chemo to treat your cancer and that’s the route you want to take, good for you! That’s your personal choice and I would never tell you you’re doing things the wrong way. I would only give you my personal opinion if I am invited to speak. I expect the same from others — especially those who aren’t my close friends and family. I do welcome advice from other breast cancer patients.

Each patient decides what the best choices are for them with the help of their doctors, who are actually experts in the subject. One thing you can do to help is to hold their hand in the process, without judging their decisions or questioning their behavior.

Also, think before you speak. Or just don’t speak.

Has anyone judged your choices of cancer treatment?

Posted in Coping after cancer, Support | 39 Comments

Checking in and checking off

medical-history-formMore often than not, when we see a doctor for the first time, we’re handed a questionnaire about our current health condition(s). Sometimes even our existing doctor surprises us with such a list. I’ve been thinking about this recently and about how much and how quickly things have changed regarding my health situation.

Me a few years ago: I walk into the doctor’s office and check in. They hand me a list of questions I need to answer related to my health history. I find a random seat. I know I’ll be quick filling out these forms because there was never anything wrong with me. I read the questions and it’s a breeze for me — some I am even answering without fully reading what they’re asking me, because I am a healthy girl. I answer “No” to all questions asked. Questions like, have you ever had a biopsy? and have you been diagnosed with cancer? Because I answer “No” to all the questions, I get to skip many of the other questions. Done. I hand the completed forms to the front desk receptionist who seems surprised by how quickly I filled out the forms. She asks, “did you fill out the second page too?” I proudly say, yes. I also wonder why she is so surprised. The receptionist quickly dismisses me by asking me to wait to be called for the doctor to see me.

I go back to my seat. I continue to watch others fill out their forms, although they got there before me. I start to wonder what’s going on with these patients who are taking so much time, but I quickly go back to my own thoughts about whether or not I will like this new doctor. I also think about how annoying it is to fill out those forms. Suddenly, I forget about the people sitting across from me taking too long filling out their forms. I wait for my turn to see the doctor while texting some friends to keep myself entertained.

Me today: I walk into the doctor’s office and check in. They hand me a list of questions I need to answer related to my recent health history. I spot a seat where I think I’ll have the most privacy. I sit and read the questions. It looks like it will take me longer to fill out the forms than I had anticipated. One of the forms contains a long list of health problems. Not only do I answer “yes” to some of these questions, but I run out of space while putting down the details of my unfortunate health experiences and family cancer history. I pause in the middle of answering these questions. I start to think how good I had it before. Also, as I answer “Yes” to more questions, I start to wonder what I will be faced with next. I am getting older. How much worse can things get and how soon? I look around wondering who else has had my experiences but I notice people are handing in their forms sooner than I am. I am glad they are OK, I assume, except I am not too far from being their age. Some of the quick people are even older than I am — which adds a moment of confusion for me. I go back to filling out my forms. Finally done. I hand the completed forms to the front desk receptionist who gently takes them and checks to make sure I didn’t miss anything. She smiles at me and asks me to wait for my turn to be called.

I go back to my seat. I start writing down a list of questions I have for the doctor. I also start thinking about the forms I just filled out and wondering if I forgot to include something. If I forgot something, I write those down too so they can update my records. It’s important to tell your doctor everything. Eventually I get called to see the doctor. Suddenly, everyone from staff is smiling at me. “Am I being paranoid? It’s OK if they know my medical history” I say to myself. Then I proceed to the examination room where it now takes an extra 15 minutes to discuss my list of health conditions.

It is surreal how much and how quickly things have changed regarding my health; and how much doctors pay attention to me, now. I went from having no personal medical problems to having a heart murmur, several biopsies, a genetic mutation, cancer, collateral damage from cancer treatments, and other things. Five years ago, I would have never thought I would be one of those patients taking a long time to fill out the medical history forms at their doctor’s office, certainly not at a young age. Life can drastically change in a blink of an eye.

I only hope I get a long break before I have to answer “Yes” to another one of those health problem questions, after all, I am only in my 30’s.

Posted in Coping after cancer | 16 Comments

Why I don’t celebrate “Pinktober”


Image courtesy of metup.org.

I admit, before going through cancer, and right after finishing treatments, I did a few cancer walks. I believed I was helping a great cause. As I did more and more walks, I felt sadder inside. I survived cancer, so how come I am not like one of the happy-go-lucky girls all dressed in pink ribbons, celebrating their triumphs?

For me, I just haven’t been able to get past what I’ve learned and what I’ve seen in relation to breast cancer.

When I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, my doctors didn’t speak to me about metastatic breast cancer. They figure I wasn’t dealing with that at the time so why overwhelm me with all the possibilities. I was too scared to ask questions that didn’t apply to my case. I did think I was going to die, like all of us do at the beginning of this process — but when my doctors told me “you will be fine,” I held on to that, which isn’t a bad thing. I do have a family history of cancers and a few of my family members have died from metastatic breast cancer. In my mind, I thought their cancer was caught late. But later I found out that wasn’t the case. A couple of them had caught their cancers early but then their cancer metastasized. Now I am not too sure I will be OK, because no one really knows.

I joined an online forum during my treatments — a group of over 200 ladies and a few men (yes, men get breast cancer too). I knew their stories. Some were very similar to mine. Some of them eventually faced stage 4, and then died. I was exposed to a lot of information doctors don’t always tell you — how sometimes tests aren’t accurate, or how having clear lymph nodes doesn’t mean your cancer won’t spread, for example. I found myself coming back to my oncologist and asking a lot of questions about my case, but she didn’t have all the answers. All my doctors can do is monitor me closely, but the truth is, they don’t know if I will be one of those “30% of patients” (note, numbers may be higher) who go from early stage to having metastatic breast cancer—stage 4. They also can’t stop a metastasis from occurring.

But I am doing well so far, so why is it that I can’t be at peace with that knowledge and move on? Because there is no cure for breast cancer and none of us are truly ever done after treatments.

And there is another reason:

There isn’t enough funding for stage 4 research, which is why we now have 110 women dying every day from metastatic breast cancer in the U.S. alone— About 40,290 women in the U.S. are expected to die this year (breastcancer.org).

After learning more about breast cancer, and after seeing so many people die from it, including family members, I just don’t feel like celebrating. This doesn’t mean I am ungrateful for being alive or that I feel bitter. It means I am sad others have died from the same disease I have. I am also worried about OUR future, because of the limited amount of funding there is to find a cure.

I understand every patient is entitled to handle their cancer as they please — and it is not my intention to take away hope, because I have some hope too. But please educate yourself about the disease. Educate others. Get involved. Know which organizations are focusing on finding the cure — Metavivor is a great start. There are others too. However, I am not so confident of some other well-known organizations that wrap themselves in pink ribbons every October but don’t contribute much to advance cancer research. Metastatic breast cancer needs more research. We have enough awareness about cancer— it is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., so by now we all know it exists.

What we need is a cure so we can all be truly done with cancer and have more reasons to celebrate, in more colors than just pink.

Posted in Awareness | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Sweet things that happened to me during my cancer treatments

Today I thought of my chemo days. It’s the kind of event you can’t completely forget about. As I reflected I realized it was not all bad during my cancer mess. I received great support, and those were the memories that came to mind – some of the sweetest things that happened to me during my cancer treatments that contributed to my recovery.

So before my chemo brain gets the best of me, I thought I would write them down so I can always remember them and feel grateful.

My fiancé’s mornings’ notes: Every morning when I opened my eyes there was always a note written by my guy before he left for work.

DSC_0007My mom’s persistence on how bathtubs are full of germs: I stayed in her house during treatments, and she would clean the bathtub everyday so I did not catch an infection in my toe nails – due to my weak immune system. Even after 3 months of being finished with chemo, I would still catch her cleaning the bathtub for me.

My sister’s correction of physics: I was wrapped in a blanket in the chemo room because I was always cold. She noticed the blanket, which was pulled up under my chin, had started to slip down my neck. She made sure to tuck it back up where it belonged and patted it gently.

My cousin’s vulnerability: My cousin Bryan who visited me from the Dominican Republic sat by my side after I was done with one of my chemo infusions. He is usually a very talkative kid, but on that day he just looked at me and wrapped his arms around me.

My aunt’s and uncle’s visits (from the Dominican Republic): My aunt Rossy took care of me during my two surgeries (for a month)—helped me clean my apartment, fed me, prayed for me every night, helped me shower, came with me to my appts., was with me during my surgeries at the hospital, took me to church. And my uncle who came to be with me for one of the chemo treatments and stayed in the chemo room for the entire infusion. Then, a few weeks later, he sent his three kids to cheer me up.

My younger cousins’ letters: This still makes me smile. There were letters and cards my cousins created just for me. They could not come to visit me but they made sure I received their love.

????????????????????????????????????Religious competitions: There are Christians, Catholics and Saint believers among my friends and family. It was sweet to see each one of them claiming their God/Saint was helping with my recovery and not the others. Hey, as long as I was recovering, it didn’t matter who did the job.

My cousin’s visit from Mexico: Cooking is not her thing but she persistently wanted to cook me a meal. I love to cook so I ended up cooking for the both of us. Why not? I had the energy. So allowing me to be self-sufficient was more than I could ask for.

My great-aunt’s revelations: Although I can’t list them all, there is one I must mention. She said “I love you” to me. If you knew her, you would realize this is a big deal. She is not the kind of person to express her emotions, in any shape or form.

Co-workers: I had a bag full of goodies waiting for me at my desk one morning. All kinds of healthy foods to bring with me during chemo—even Biotene which helped prevent mouth sores. One texted me every day for the whole 5 months of treatment—from asking me how I was doing to sending me stories she made up about how Christopher from the Sopranos and I had a love affair. Another one handled some of my projects at work. They even did a walk in support of me that year.

My cat’s hugs: My cat is not affectionate, but she didn’t leave my side when I finally returned home from treatments.

NellymFor once, I saw winter as a blessing rather than a bad reminder in my life: Everyone who knows me knows I dislike the winter. It’s a combination of things: I’ve received a lot of bad news in the winter, for example – losing my mama and great-aunt, being diagnosed with breast cancer and my aunt being diagnosed with leukemia. One day, it snowed heavily, and I went outside and uncover myself to let the snow touch my face and arms. For that moment I forgot about all the cancer associations and simply enjoyed the experience of being able to see another winter.

My friends: They slept over to be with me. They did not question anything which I appreciated. They were simply there to listen and to help.

Roberto: He took care of my animals for months while I was getting treated – made sure they ate and were OK. He was with me when I shaved my head. I saw his tears when I got diagnosed with cancer, but he always told me that I would be OK.

Roberto’s family: The Santuario Del Quinche is a catholic church in Quito, Ecuador. This church is the home of the Virgen del Quinche who is known to be miraculous. Roberto’s family is devoted to her—many people from Ecuador are. They visit this church every year for the Peregrination. Roberto’s grandparents attended to request my healing.

Other cancer patients: This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the most powerful group of people I’ve ever known, my sisters and brothers who have walked the cancer path. And here’s what I mean by powerful: they were the only people who could truly calm me down and get my head clear about how to proceed. They gave me advice. They listened. Kept my spirit up. Cheered me up. Educated me. Each one of them had a special touch and a way to simply make me feel confident about my situation. I consider them family.

My medical team from MSKCC was and continues to be amazing: Dr. Chau Dang, Dr. Beryl McCormick, Dr. Mahmoud El-Tamer and the wonderful group of nurses who supported me during this difficult transition.

I want to take the time to thank everyone who was there for me during those challenging times. I can’t imagine having to go through those treatments without their support.

Did you have a sweet experience during your cancer treatments you would like to share?

Posted in Family, Reflections, Support | Tagged , , | 19 Comments