Stories of Hope: Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Shamir
In business dealings, I always try to achieve a balance between toughness, decisiveness, and sensitivity to my environment. In my private life, I give more space to my emotions and try to be present and attentive.
My name is María Guerrero, I’m 38 years old and I live in Madrid with my husband and daughter, Alba. I’m an optometrist and optician and I’ve been working in the Marketing Department of Shamir since 2007. I want to share with you a very personal moment in my life, which took place 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
This is the first time I’m writing about this subject. It’s something I’ve talked about with family, friends, and colleagues, but I’ve never written about how I felt about it and that’s why I´m a bit nervous reliving this moment.
When I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter, I felt a lump in my breast that grew during those months, but I didn´t give it much thought at the time because I had had a check-up a year and a half before and they told me I had benign cysts, so I assumed that’s what it was.
On 10th May 2015, my daughter was born and in those first 24 hours, she wasn´t able to breastfeed. In the check-up I had before leaving the hospital when I told the doctor that breastfeeding was difficult, he checked, noticed a lump, and said that before leaving the hospital he wanted to do some tests. I really believed the doctors would tell me that I had a benign cyst but during the breast ultrasound, they were very quiet at first, and then they started murmuring with the nurse. I started getting nervous and realized that something was wrong. Then they told me they had to do a biopsy and that’s when everything changed. I was very scared about my diagnosis and thought, “This can’t be happening to me, not now that my daughter’s just been born”. My life changed from the happiest to the worst in just 24 hours.
It was a tough year with several surgical procedures, going through chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and rehabilitation. Even though the physical pain was very hard I always say that the worst was the psychological recovery. No one is prepared for something like this, especially when your baby has just been born, and you are holding her in your arms. But time passes and you begin to recover, you go back to work and you desire normality. You realize that life goes on and that every day we live is a gift. It takes a long time to reach this conclusion but even in the worst moments, there are good things. Now I value more than ever every second of the day I spend with my family and friends, although now we are seeing each other less because of COVID-19 love is always present.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported me, for always being there, for all the affection you’ve shown and especially to my husband and my parents because in the end they’ve accompanied me throughout this situation day by day and although these people are usually forgotten, they need the same love and support as the sick. Our daughter made us move on and have more desire to live than ever, although we also cried a lot when it all started because of the uncertainty of not knowing if everything was going to go well or not. That feeling was always present and was something we had to learn to live with.
This is my story and all I can tell you is that whatever you notice, don’t let it go, time plays against us and the sooner cancer is detected, the better. Life is wonderful, we waste time thinking about past things and worrying about the future and we forget about living today.
And thanks to everyone who has spent a little time reading my story, life goes on…