Liliana Delgadillo Chavez comes from a family that has a high risk for cancer. Her aunt died of breast cancer, and she lost her brother to cancer when he was only 37.
Yet, when she started noticing her own symptoms, at age 35, she blamed them on everything except cancer. When she was overly tired, she blamed it on the stress of her job. She quit her job, but she was still tired. When her arm started tingling, she bought a bigger bed.
In April 2010, she noticed her left breast was enlarged. She scheduled a mammogram and ultrasound and was diagnosed with cancer that day.
She started chemotherapy treatment in June. When she finished in December, she had a radical mastectomy and started radiation. Today, she is on a five-year regimen of tamoxifen and has a check-up every six months.
Once Liliana started chemotherapy, all her treatment was at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. “This is the best team in the world,” she says. “The chemo nurses are so kind. I love these ladies. Everyone is so nice.”
Though she doesn’t like the hand she was dealt, Liliana says she’s learned a lot. “I was always skinny. Now I eat healthy foods and exercise. I eat fruit, lean meat, fish. I even learned to love salad!”
She has advice for others who find themselves in her shoes. “Make recovery your life’s work. I don’t want people to think I’m going to die because I had breast cancer. I’m going to survive. I’m going to live. I’m going to be strong!”