Maria Valencia

 

Our pure inner will is what keeps each and everyone of us going, day by day. I was diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer at 26. My Oncologist said that my tumor was not hormonal receptive, so they could not put me on a hormone plan… post treatment. I was put through an aggressive six-month treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. It consisted of three months of chemotherapy, five weeks—Monday through Friday—of Radiation therapy, and then another three months of chemotherapy treatments. I have been in remission ever since. My Son was 2 years old at the time and I often questioned whether I would see him grow up. He is 23 now and grown to be the most amazing, intuitive person I know. I have been through my share of ups and downs in the 20+ years since I was first diagnosed, but through it all I have always been so very thankful of each and every day that I am able to get out of bed and make the best of it, day by day. I remember at 26 after finishing treatment, thinking, “Ok I’ve paid some dues here. Maybe now I’ll cut a break and ride Life “Cruise Free” for a while.” Little did I know that life keeps going with whatever is next in the cards for you. My mother-in-law, who I dearly loved and who took care of me during my treatments, was diagnosed and died of cancer within the year I was diagnosed. 16+ years of marriage that meant the world to me, ended. A family member went through and survived a heart transplant at 44; others close to me fought and survived their own battles with cancer. Starting from ground zero with just about everything—family, finances, work, career, and relationships. As time went on, I thought about the daily cancer fight less and less. I set aside the statistics and made the best of each day. Days turned into months and months have turned into years and now two decades have even passed and gone. We are all facing some type of challenge, fighting some type of battle. Cancer is just one of many. It’s our ability to face these challenges doggedly head on and then go about our lives which will define the rest of the day and our overall outlook. Our pure inner will is what pushes each and every one of us to go on.

Read more We're turning Pink! stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category