Symptoms and diagnosis
My name is Carla. I’m 36 years old. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer while doing medical testing because I wanted to get pregnant this year. My journey started last year in June when I discovered a lump in my breast when I was in a hotel. I called a doctor online. He told me not to worry right now and to make an appointment as soon as I reached my town. One week later, the radiologist said I was too young. I should worry if the lump kept growing or if it became painful. It wasn’t until the end of the year that I realised it got bigger but wasn’t painful. During the fertility testing, I asked my gynaecologist about it. He suggested doing an echo. Then I went for a biopsy. Two days later, I went to my gynaecologist to get the fertility results. He just broke the news that I cannot have kids right now and have to freeze my eggs. They kept me in this loop for almost 2 hours until they finally told me about cancer.
My first reaction
The Doctors didn’t tell me anything. They were making this huge thing. If there is cancer, why don’t they say it? And I think it’s the first time I realised there is this big word like cancer. People don’t say it. I think it’s even worse when they don’t. Honestly, it was such good news after all that waiting without knowing.
They couldn’t start the treatment until I froze my eggs. It bought me some time to try all my alternative healing. So for the first month, I had appointments to freeze my eggs. I was injected with hormones. At the same time, I went for the MRIs, echoes and more biopsies. I’m fortunate because I’m surrounded by excellent therapies here in Barcelona. I started doing acupuncture. I also tried to link the emotions related to why I developed cancer. So I started this beautiful journey of reconnecting with myself and understanding my body’s message. The disease also comes from the spiritual and emotional levels. We are not just the physical body. As a health coach, I got the best supplements I could find. I did all sorts of therapies to reboot my body to give me more energy in case I did chemo.
Treatments underwent and side effects
I want to do chemo on my terms. It took me three months to get to my terms. I went to many doctors, but they only looked at me as a patient. Finally, I started working with a new doctor who was very respectful. He understood from the moment that I was not just going to follow instructions without explanation. He explained to me everything and even agreed to negotiate. I was on some oxygen therapy for 15 days. I went on my own to have a meditation time to come to terms. And I was able to stop the growth of the tumour. My doctors were shocked. In three months, my tumour didn’t grow an inch.
I had a precise meal plan during the chemo. I helped my body with fasting. So, I had almost no side effects from chemo. When you’re fasting, most of your cells are very close. And when the chemo gets into the body, it cannot penetrate all cells. But it’s very tricky for people who take chemo pills every day. When I started injecting the shots to boost the immune system, I had side effects from these shots. The pain is unbearable. My back, lungs, lumbar, and back all hurt a lot.
Three major life lessons that cancer taught me
The first one, without any doubt, is self-love. I think you should not hate yourself because you have cancer. Second major life lesson, everything happens for a reason. Look into the future. It can be positive or negative, depending on how you approach it and what you take from it. The third one will be you don’t have to do this alone. You’re not alone in life if you don’t want to be.
Message to other cancer patients
Love yourself and love your body more than ever because your body is telling you something. You should hate your body. Don’t reject it. It would help if you did not avoid it. Instead, look at it. Just embrace the message your body is giving you and ownership of your body because it’s yours. It’s not the doctor’s, and it’s not the nurse’s. And nobody is going to take care of the body like you are going to because they don’t want to leave it. It’s all about the journey and not the destination. So, I think about the journey. It’s all about every single day. And note that many people start this journey thinking about when it will be over. Basically, they disconnect from it. And I think the journey and the lessons you’re getting every day make everything worthwhile.