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What It Means to Me to Be a Breast Cancer Survivor

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At the beginning of this great journey my mother said, "Wendy lift your face, you are worth as much as anyone." One of my nurses said, "I love how you manage, how you remain so feminine and one breast does not make you less of a woman." My best friend confessed to me, "I will never leave your side," and my brother, "Thanks, Wendy, for being so brave."

I still remember that I was surprised myself, repeating those phrases in the most difficult moments; we all have our own army to go into battle -- our family, doctors, nurses, or friends, each part of the squad. However, even when you are alone as you enter the room for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or operating room, our platoon fights their own battle to offer their best.

As in any battle there are lows; I lost my job, my boyfriend, and some family members, a breast, hair, and every hair on my body, my health. But it was worth every minute because I made sisters; friends and family engaged with me; a new look; redirected my career to devote to oncology; I met a wonderful man who loves me; seen more sunrises than I can count on my fingers; more opportunities to feel the wind in my face; the tranquility of the people who fought beside me -- and most importantly fulfilled our mission: we beat cancer.

Now it's time to continue life with a new vision. Committed to enjoy every moment, to make every new minute of life worth more than the last minute. Also, regardless of our borders and language, I would like our motto to be: "Fight for those who did not have a chance to fight."

The future is promising. I'm involved in several support groups, trying to explain to them the medical concepts that we often don’t understand. I'm about to marry the love of my life, I am living now, and want to move close to the sea, because it is never too early to be happy or too late to change your life.

This is why I remind all those women who are now in a struggle, that are brave, that mourn, and renounce, what we are experiencing is part of being courageous, because the brave one isn’t the one who doesn’t cry but the one who doesn’t stop trying. I just want to tell that woman who feels alone right now: When you are weak, I will be strong for you. When you want to leave, I'll wait. When you need to cry, I'll be there to dry your tears. When you feel lost, afraid of death and feel you cannot take a step further, just take my hand, together we can make it, because we are all survivors from the moment we decided to fight.

-- Wendy, Mexico, Spanish Discussion Board Community Member

Read Wendy's story in Spanish.

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