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Carmen’s Story (Breast Cancer)

carmens-story-breast-cancerHi my name is Carmen Salunas Garcia, and this is my story; my journey through breast cancer.

After a shower one evening, I did my self-exam as I often have for many years.

I felt a very tiny pea-like lump. At the time, I really thought it was nothing. I had just had back surgery to take out a simulator that caused a bad infection, so I sort of put the thought of finding that little pea away.

Time quickly passed, and before I knew it, it had increased in size. I could feel the difference, definitely bigger. So off I went to visit the doctor.

After five weeks of unavailability, my doctor’s office had a change, and I was able to get a mammogram. Following the mammogram, I was told I needed more tests and then a biopsy.

It was no secret; I looked at the ultrasound and could see that a storm was approaching.

The tech told the doctors that it was invasive, and I already knew what it was.

Things seemed so unreal to me. I was out on a journey no one should ever go through.

My battle scars had just begun.

Fortunately, I had a lot of support from my hubby, dad, kids, and grandkids.

I arrived at a hospital in Sugarland, Texas. I was about to lose one of my breasts and then have a tummy tuck to tunnel upward to make a new breast.

Amazing, I thought. And that’s when another fight began.

The next challenge came after six lymph-nodes were removed. Afterwards, in the wee hours of the morning,  I cried, telling my nurse I was in pain, and of course she gave me more pain medication. But that’s not what I needed.

The doctor arrived a few hours later. By that time, I was losing blood fast. How could she not see my chest was all purple?

Well, all in all, I went into a second surgery, then a third, all within 24 hours.

It was a nightmare, but I fought harder.

After numerous surgeries and a reconstruction, I endured 16 rounds of Chemo, lost my hair, and then faced more setbacks from infections.

Today, I am 57-years old. I was diagnosed at 54 and have been in remission for two years. I am grateful for my sisters in pink: Fight Like A Girl.

Together we recover, we tell our stories, we comfort one another.  We cry, we laugh, but most of  all, we FIGHT LIKE HELL.

Something that I always tell women I encounter is to always, always get a mammogram; and if you don’t, at least, self-check. It only takes a second.

This is my warrior story. Fight Like A Girl!

Submitted 05/14/2018

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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One comment

  1. Jackie

    I am so sorry that you had to go through so much. You are truly a fighter. Best wishes to you as you continue your journey.

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