Eloisa’s Story, told by her daughter Guadalupe:
“My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer Stage 4 in 2003. All we heard was ‘death sentence.’ After countless radiation and chemo treatments, we heard the words we wanted to hear—her cancer was in remission. Almost seven years passed when she started having symptoms where she couldn’t eat and had trouble breathing. We had gone through a tough time already because my grandmother passed away November 13th, and we buried her November 16th, and now on November 19th my mother goes into the hospital after having gone nine months with not being able to eat or drink—not even water. Why nine months of having to fight it alone? Because it was financially impossible to go to the doctor as my dad had gotten injured a couple years prior, and they had lost their medical insurance. After being in the hospital for 45 days, we heard those ‘deadly’ words one more time: the cancer has returned. Our world came crashing down—again—because the cancer had metastasized and moved more to the center of where she had her mastectomy. She had difficult time breathing and couldn’t eat because the tumor was putting pressure in her esophagus. We went through chemo as soon as she was able to get medical help, but the oncologist was doing such a heavy treatment of chemo, that it was making her very weak, and water started going into her lungs, so she got a pleuroinfusion (or drain) in her right lung. I had to administer the drains every other day. Because she couldn’t eat, she got a feeding tube that we also administered to her every day. Chemo was becoming too much for her. Her oncologist and pulmonary doctor told her she only had six months to live. They recommended that she go home and enjoy her family and be happy in the remaining days she had. She went home with hospice care and after two months, she said she wanted to try chemo again. Within three chemo treatments, we all saw improvement. She started drinking water. Passed a little bit of food. And before we knew it, she was eating without the feeding tube. The woman who was given six months to live has been with us over a year and a half! It has been hard, but she doesn’t give up. She continues to battle and not let breast cancer beat her. We love our mom. And our family is so proud of her for showing us that you don’t have to give up. You keep fighting and figure out how to beat this ‘monster’ as my mother calls it.”
– Guadalupe Villa
Update: Eloisa passed away on November 7, 2012. Just a couple of days after her family had walked the San Diego Race for the Cure in her honor.
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