In August 2010, when Eugenia Medrano touched her right breast and felt a lump, she made an appointment to see her doctor at Harris Health Gulfgate. He quickly scheduled a mammogram, then an ultrasound, then a series of biopsies.
Eugenia says that learning the breast cancer diagnosis was hard. “I felt very bad. I never thought I’d have breast cancer. There was no family history. It took a while to accept, but then I put myself into my doctor’s hands. I decided to do whatever he said. The first thing he told me was not to miss appointments. And to this day, I don’t miss any.”
Once diagnosed, she immediately started chemotherapy—a series of 12 over a three-month period, which was relatively easy. After a mastectomy, she started another series of eight chemo treatments. She was not as fortunate this time. She lost her hair and was sick for several days after each.
“I tried to make myself feel good,” she says, “but I couldn’t.” She depended on her husband and mother who made a great support team. It was hard for her children. Eugenia’s son, now 15, has spina bifida and is wheelchair bound. Her daughter is 9.
She worried about radiation treatments, but was relieved to have no problems.
In April 2012, Eugenia completed treatment. She’ll take tamoxifen for five years. “But the hard part is over. I chose Ben Taub, and I wouldn’t change that. I am grateful to have my care here. Everyone from the cashiers to the oncologists to the Cancer Resource Center—everyone was very interested and caring. They even called to check on me.
“Breast cancer is a memory, part of the past. I have another opportunity for life, and I try to live every moment. I learned to value the people in my life.”
As part of the LiveStrong Cancer Transition Program, Eugenia learned about eating healthy, exercising and paying attention to her body. “It’s important to support each other. Anyone can have cancer. We should know our bodies and go to the doctor if something is wrong.
“Sometimes I’m afraid the cancer will come back, but I have faith in God and I have the strength to keep going.
“I want to thank everyone at Ben Taub—the whole staff!”