Having overcome Breast Cancer and Uterine Cancer, the best is yet to come
By: Claudia Pacquola
This story begins 27 years ago when one night I crossed my arms and felt a lump in my left breast. From a very young age I always did check-ups since my mother was a volunteer for LALCEC (Liga Argentina de Lucha Contra el Cáncer). From that moment on, I began with mammograms and ultrasounds, which were followed by two surgeries: one to remove the tumor and another to remove the lymph nodes. I had breast cancer.
Then I had chemotherapy and radiation, and in the middle of all this anguish, fears and treatments, there were my three little daughters of only 6, 4 and 3 years old, who did not understand why their mother could not be with them or accompany them to school or their activities.
I had 13 years of check-ups, with fears after each doctor visit, but hopeful that after ten years the disease was eradicated. But that ghost called Cancer appeared again. It was a very real ghost.
Again, test after test and a big decision to be made by consensus with my mastologist and with my therapist and psychiatrist, with whom I had started my therapy a year before. The double mastectomy was recommended and there I put my body again
There was only one goal: to LIVE
I couldn’t leave my daughters without their Mom. It wasn’t fair to them, and I wanted to be there to watch them grow up, become adults, and hug them and love them.
The treatments began this time with medications that often have side effects: and they lead to endometriosis which evolved into uterine cancer. And I couldn’t believe it. Again.
But unlike the other times, I was in a better place emotionally, more self-confident, more empowered to make decisions and supported by my adolescent-young daughters and by my new partner.
Having worked on myself through therapy, I had already been through much of my journey.
But there I was, with a recently performed total hysterectomy.
They asked me if that made me feel less of a woman, and I answered that on the contrary, that all these surgeries and scars made me the woman I am today: more self-confident, with the purpose of being able to help others overcome traumatic situations based on my life´s experiences..
And that’s where the idea of writing my own story about my struggle, my overcoming, and my resilience came about. It was two years of work, to recover memories that were already stored very deeply but that I was able to experience from another place, with different emotions. Resiliente, my book came to light and together with it I created the social network @resiliente.ok with phrases, reflections, talks that could be useful to help others to get to know themselves and learn tools to overcome situations of imbalance and stress that we experience on this path we are on called life.
This beautiful path, many times flat but sometimes with obstacles that we never imagined could be in our way. But there they are. They are part of life.
That is why we must be grateful for one more day and all that it entails. I am grateful for all that I experienced that has taught me to distinguish what is “MOST IMPORTANT THAN WHAT IS IMPORTANT,” to forgive others and to forgive myself in order to continue growing and evolving, to help others and above all to be myself, and to love who I am because the best is yet to come.