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Pilar Portela (Breast Cancer Survivor)

Pilar Portela (Breast Cancer Survivor)

Diagnosis and treatment 

I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in December 2017. It was Christmas time. I went for a regular check-up. I was just shocked to hear the report. The doctor told me that a social worker in the hospital would explain to you the treatment protocol. 

My treatment started with chemotherapy. It continued for five months. After that, a double mastectomy with expanders was done. After completing this treatment, radiation therapy was started. It continued for five months. Finally, I went through reconstructive therapy. 

Side effects of the treatment

The whole treatment was exhaustive and painful. I had severe nausea and vomiting. I lost my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. It was very stressful. I was not able to concentrate on anything. During the first month of treatments, things weren't going as expected. My body couldn't handle all those chemicals at once so they hurt me and caused many side effects like hair loss or weight gain. However, after three months of treatments, everything went back normally again, but not without some difficulties along the way. Nowadays everything seems perfect for me. 

Took the help of the therapist in the hospital 

The diagnosis and treatment was very stressful for me. I was always worried about my daughter. When my daughter came to know that I have cancer she was also very worried. 

She got anxious when she came to know about my diagnosis. We both were given therapies by the hospital to come out of this situation. It was of great help,  the therapies were designed in such a way that my daughter couldn't know that she was going through it. She was told to do some painting and all. 

Other alternative therapies

I took help from other alternative therapies also. It helped in faster recovery. Massage therapy, yoga, and music therapy helped in healing faster. I practised yoga for cancer. It was very helpful. I joined another cancer group through the hospital. It also played an instrumental role in giving proper information regarding cancer and how to cope with all other related issues. 

Lifestyle changes

Cancer is a lifestyle disease. With lifestyle changes, we can lead a healthy life. Post-treatment, I reduced my intake of alcohol. I take proper care of my diet. I always avoid fried food as much as possible. Exercise has become a part of my routine. I believe that with a proper diet and lifestyle, we can manage a healthy life in case of cancer. 

Message for others

I am happy to share that I am cancer-free and officially a Cancer Survivor now. It was a hard journey. I wish no one should go through this journey. I feel like a stronger person now. If I go through this I can go through anything.

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