Meet Adriana

Meet Adriana - a 38 year old woman from Zacatecas in Mexico. She has shared her breast cancer story with us to show other women that women are strong and life can be beautiful!



Getting to know you:
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m Adriana and I’m 38 years old.  I’m from Zacatecas in Mexico and I’ve been married for 15 years now and have 3 girls, aged 9, 11 and 14. I work at a middle school as an administrative accountant. 
 
What is a normal day for you?
 
During the week (when we are not in the middle of a pandemic) I usually get up early, take a bath, prepare the lunches for my kids, and then get them ready for school. I work from 7.30.am to 2.40pm, then get back home and prepare dinner for the family. I then sometimes manage to go to the gym and spend some time on the stair climber. Since I had my surgery, I cannot do any other type of exercise, other than cardio. In the evening I also help my daughters with their homework and then we watch some TV before it is time to go to bed.
 
What do you do in your spare time?
I really like to meet up with friends; we chat, go for a walk, go for dinner or meet up at someone’s house. I also enjoy embroidery and look after my plants – I have a collection of cacti I have grown myself.
 
What have you got planned in the next year?
Unfortunately, I just had to restart chemotherapy in October 2020, so first of all I want to fight and make it through this third cycle of chemotherapy. After that I would love to go to the United States to visit my sister. She lives in Dallas and I haven’t seen her in 16 years. I am really excited to meet all my nephews and nieces for the firs time. I have lots of other plans too, but first I need to finish the chemotherapy.
 
Biggest achievement in life to date?
I would say my biggest achievement is, being alive 8 years after I was diagnosed.
 
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Blessed, grateful and persevering. My family also added that I am very honest.
 
Your diagnosis and surgery:
When were you diagnosed with breast cancer?
I was diagnosed on first November 2012, when I was 30 years old.
 
What type of surgery did you have?
I had a radical mastectomy on both sides.
 
Can you tell us a bit about how you felt when you first found out?  - What was your first thought/worry?
The day I knew the first thing I thought about, was that I might not survive this. I cried because, my daughters were so young and I was afraid of leaving them unprotected and without a mother.
 
Who did you turn to when you first found out and who helped you the most throughout?
My husband has always been there for me. We then told my mother, who told the whole family and they have all been very supportive.
 
Was there anything/anyone that helped you through your treatment?
I have always received a lot of support from my family and friends in every way - prayers, visits and even financial help. The one who always accompanies me to all my appointments, surgeries, chemotherapies, studies, etc., is my husband.
 
Is there anything you wish you had known before?
That life is beautiful and despite medical diagnoses, we can live fully, there is so much life after cancer.
 
Do you have an inspirational story to share with other ladies?
I think we all have a tendency to ‘live for others’ and not focus enough on ourselves. I have now learned to love myself and put myself first. This has really helped me to find my inner happiness and enjoy life to the fullest.  I also made a lot of new friends during my treatment, all ladies that have also been diagnosed with breast cancer, we all inspire each other and learn together how to live with this diagnosis.
 
Do you have any post-surgery styling tips?
 
Whether you have got one, two or no breasts, it does not make you any less of a woman, so just embrace your new self. I would recommend using a prosthesis as you really can’t notice and you will look just as beautiful as ever. Another thing that I have learned is that having breasts or not, does not limit the way you can dress!
 
Any advice for other ladies who have or had breast cancer?
Enjoy every day, every coffee, every sunrise, the rain, the beautiful landscapes, every moment with your family and the flavours of food, because life is full of moments and each one of them is special and unique!
 
Anything else you would like to share?
I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to share my experience and my story with other women. I hope that my stroy shows that despite all life throws at you, it maks us stronger. Life can be beautiful and we should enjoy every second of it.
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