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Marisa Salcines

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Living with Breast Cancer

03/04/2015 03:13AM | 2458 views

In late 2013, a mother of a friend was dealing with breast cancer while my mom was battling her second round of chemotherapy which had not worked and instead the cancer had metastasized.

Q. Tell me about how you dealt with your breast cancer diagnosis.

In 2013, I was told I had early stages of invasive carcinoma of the breast. At that time, I opted for no chemo and gone the alternative route that is eating totally whole foods, meditating and praying and keeping a hopeful attitude as constantly as I could.

Q. What were the challenges you faced?

Since I was working and taking care of daily normal life, I needed help with things like shopping for groceries and supplements and preparation of food and the administration of ancillary therapies.

Q. You have three daughters, a son, and many who love you but you still felt alone. Tell me more about this.

Cancer is loneliness, fear, and abandonment. It is the feeling of not being loved or appreciated in some difficult to explain way. These are not conscious feelings. Some people cannot realize this, because the implication is very tough to accept

Q. Deciding against chemotherapy is a controversial decision. What are your thoughts in this regard?

There are many books available and online help and many protocols that work, but that takes commitment from the patient and the family. Because the protocols are cumbersome and time consuming it is optimal for the family of the patient to be involved.

As a caregiver to someone with breast cancer or any cancer, you need to be prepared to hug and kiss your family member as often as you can and surround him/her with love and affection. Be loving and gentle.

Q. How are you doing now?

Eventually, the cancer spread to my bones specifically my hip and I had to use a wheelchair. I made it work and even kept driving, living my life. It hasn't been easy. However, as the disease progress, I consulted with my family and decided to undergo chemotherapy.  This has also been a challenge and currently I have been told that I need a mastectomy. I am undecided as what to do next as I feel I do not want to ensure the time I have left on earth is quality. 

Q. What advice would you give to other women in this situation?

I would tell them that they should live with no regrets. Tell those you love, that you love them, embrace the time you have and make it the best. Whether you choose traditional treatment or alternative, make the best decision that makes sense for you and your family. 

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