Losing My Job Saved My Life!

Had I not lost my job last year, I would have never realized I had breast cancer, until it was much too late. Figured I would go for my annual checkup since I had so much time on my hands. My doctor scheduled my first routine mammogram in October 2011. Much to my horror I found out I had breast cancer. “Who me?” is all I thought the day I heard the news on November 9, 2011.

I had to tell my three grown sons and my boyfriend that I have breast cancer. Needless to say, it has been a long journey since then. I had a lumpectomy in December 2011 and started chemo the following month. Losing my hair was the hardest part, then I realized I was beautiful with or without hair, well that’s what everyone said anyway. I finished chemo with not many problems at all except for hair loss and then started radiation in April 2012. Here it is June 2012 and I have finished my radiation too. During my treatments, we moved into a new house, we welcomed our first grandson and I found a job!! Talk about being busy at a time in my life when I needed to take it easy.

The support of my family and close friends helped me through the days that I felt sorry for myself, which wasn’t too often. I tried to remain as positive as I could just because I didn’t want anyone else to worry. Staying strong is what pulled me through. I am thankful for the road I have traveled because it made me a little stronger & to appreciate all little things along the way and most importantly never take my health for granted!!

Rochelle Avila
North Dartmouth, MA

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