Roxanna Sanchez

“It’s breast cancer.” Three words no one ever wants to hear. I was 37 years old when I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. It was two days after Christmas. I had my biopsy on Christmas Eve.  My exact diagnosis was DCIS or Ductal Carcinoma In situ and metastatic breast carcinoma in my axilla. I wasn’t completely shocked because I had felt the lump and saw the tumors on the mammogram and ultrasound. Still, the tears overcame me. 

As I tried to figure out what all was needed to be done by myself; I had to figure out who I needed to call and where I needed to go, I had a huge sense of peace take over me. I knew God was in control, plus, I lived in Houston, the best place for cancer care, and I had two young boys to live for. The weeks flew by even though many tests were run. Before I knew it I was starting my chemotherapy, but I was prepared. I knew I was going to lose my hair and it wasn’t a big deal. I knew I was going to feel sick but I knew there was medication to help me get through it. I knew I would eventually lose the breast, but it was just a breast. I knew I was going to make it. I knew it. I had no doubts, no worries, and no fear.  

I did everything I was told to do, went to every appointment I was scheduled for, took every pill I was asked to and enjoyed every moment I could because I knew this experience wasn’t just for nothing. I knew there had to be a purpose and I was ready to fulfill that purpose. About five or six weeks after starting chemo, I asked God to make this experience serve a purpose. I told Him, “I know I am going to survive but I want it to serve a purpose. I want to be a blessing to others and that my experience will help someone in their struggle with cancer.” 

I continued working full time, being a baseball mom (I never missed a game and only one practice), I continued going to church and getting outside as much as possible. I had so much to live for. I was given a second chance for a reason.
I finished my chemo, had my mastectomy, did six weeks of daily radiation and went through several surgeries in the following years. I am now a six-year survivor, enjoying my teenage sons, and thanking God for every encounter along the way. 

I am in college now, pursuing my degree in nursing, hoping to specialize in oncology. I meet people almost every day that have been personally touched by cancer. I get to share my story, encourage when I can, grieve with the families of those who do not make it and bring awareness about this disease as much as possible. I am open with cancer patients about what I have gone through and although I can’t give medical advice, I can encourage them and tell them my human experience.

I will keep the memories of loved ones and friends I have lost to this disease deep in my heart and pray that soon there will be a cure.