LiVE[H0pe]LoVE

“LiVE.[H0pe].LoVE”

What is Hope? If you type it into google, the definition you get is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. I don’t know about you, but hope is something that gets me through each and every day. The [Hope] of me becoming a Physician, The [Hope] of a happy life, The [Hope] of days that I will remember for the rest of my life. Hope is a pretty big thing. Especially to someone who has just been diagnosed with [Cancer]. Hope is all they have, Hope that the treatment will take, Hope that they can spend the Holidays with their Kids, Grandkids… etc, Hope that they won’t be in complete pain for the rest of the time they are allotted with this condition.

Can you imagine hearing “You have cancer”? It’s nothing like McDonalds running out of your favorite burger. Or that the hair appointment you had planned for months has been canceled. It’s a complete and total – stop dead in your tracks – sentence. Just three words, with such an earth-shattering meaning. I can’t imagine, and I don’t wish to imagine how it feels to hear those words, However, I do know how it feels to hear the person that brought you into this world, and cared for you, and did nothing but support you your entire existence tell you that “I have cancer”. In 2011, my mother was diagnosed with Stage [2] Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Currently, my mother is a 5 Year Breast Cancer Survivor and I am so relived that we got here! All thanks to a wonderful doctors, nurses and healthcare providers.

However, even after reaching this glorious milestone, I still hold my breath every time she goes to see her oncologist in fear of hearing of a reoccurrence. A reoccurrence would mean that Stage [2] is now a Stage [4] – Metastatic Breast Cancer because only one little bitty cell was left. That one little cell makes a huge difference. It wasn’t even my diagnoses and I felt my world being flipped upside down and being shoved into a tiny can while the life was being squeezed out of me. I know what your thinking, a little dramatic? I don’t think so, considering I come from a single parent home, where my rock and main supporter looked helpless and there was nothing I can do to help her. She put on a brave face and was optimistic and strong though it all, but her eyes said otherwise. On top of all that, due to the heredity of Breast Cancer, I now saw my own life put through a few spin cycles.

What If I had the gene, What if I develop breast cancer. Will I pass it on to my kids, Should I even have kids in the future? All these thoughts rushed through my head and needless to say it was a very rough time for me and my family. I had to put everything on hold. Nothing else mattered. My path to becoming a Doctor was put on hold and suffered bruises because of it. My work schedules changed drastically. I remember being on the computer for hours trying to find a good specialist for my mother, googling treatments and medicines, trying to understand what we would have to do, what the better route would be. Thankfully we made it through all that to a healthy 5 years. I can’t wait till we reach the 10-year mark where chances of reoccurrence are  even smaller. The thing is, once you’re a cancer patient – you’re always a cancer patient. Routine check up with an oncologist are vital.

That being said, this experience taught me a lot about myself also. Day of my mom’s surgery to excise that tumor was the day everything made sense to me. It’s the day I realized I no longer wanted to be a pediatrician but I wanted to be a Breast Cancer Oncologist, for many reasons that I will not mention here because they are irrelevant. Since then, I dedicated my life to helping people beat breast cancer, and although I’m not a doctor yet there are many ways I can help. I’ve joined the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and opened my own fundraiser where I can collect Donations for Breast Cancer Research. This specific organization is an amazing organization because 91% of your profits go to research so every penny you donate goes to help save someone’s life, and/or prolong someone’s life so they can spend another holiday with a loved one, so they can spend the rest of their days more comfortably.

This is very important to me and I personally donate annually, however, we are stronger in numbers. So I urge you to donate anything you can and to pass this link on to your friends and family so they can donate what they can and so on and so forth. We have come to the point where free mammograms are funded for early detection of breast cancer which is how my mother thankfully found the tumor on time. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. It can appear in anyone, you, your mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, even your husband. Men also have mammary glands, so men can also develop breast cancer. This is why self-breast exams are very important for everyone to do after their menstrual cycle, every month.  You can get it by heredity, age or just plain bad luck. Keep in mind if someone in your family was diagnosed with Breast cancer, it would be a smart idea to get tested. If a person has a BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation you have about 80% risk you will develop breast or ovarian cancer in your lifetime. This is why Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy. Prevention is very important, especially for the gene mutations.

So to get to the point. We can all make a difference and change someone’s life by donating any amount because it adds up and makes a huge difference, even a penny, so please find it in your heart to donate to this cause, click the link (https://give.bcrfcure.org/LiveHopeLove) below to go to the direct page of the organization for a safe donation. You will get a receipt for your donation. On behalf of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation I would like to thank you for your contributions and for helping them, do what they do best. Thank you for your time.