You Are Never Alone — Silu’s Battle Against Breast Cancer
I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I am now a personal trainer, author, and motivational speaker. I was diagnosed in August 2018 with stage 1 HER2 positive breast cancer and Paget’s Disease of the nipple.
When I was diagnosed I felt lost, confused, scared, desperate, worried about how far along the cancer would be and if I would survive. My biggest challenge was overcoming all of those feelings and fighting to stay positive throughout the whole process.
My treatment consisted of egg freezing, chemo port placement, 4 months of chemotherapy every 3 weeks, zoladex injections every 4 weeks, Double Mastectomy with tissue expander placement, left nipple removal, silicone implant surgery, and one year of immunotherapy. Every part is challenging and painful in its own way.
Chemo is extremely hard because of how much it takes from you. No more hair, food tastes terrible, appetite is gone, nausea, sexual side effects, my fingernails are still falling out — so, really, it strips almost everything away from you. The only way to get through it is to stay positive and look at it as a marathon. Every step forward is a small win and eventually it all adds up.
I’m glad to have a great support system from my family. My advice to someone receiving a cancer diagnosis would be to embrace the feelings that you have and always tackle them with a positive mind set. One thing I learned was that — as much as we think we can, we can’t control everything. Cancer shows us that, but we can control our attitude towards it. So always stay positive.
Also, realize that at the moment of diagnosis, you become a member of one of the strongest communities on earth. The wonderful healthcare providers, the foundations like Livestrong, and the countless warriors around the globe. You are never alone.
Currently, I am cancer free as of April and I am finishing my immunotherapy in November. Livestrong helped me receive incredibly expensive hormone injections during my egg freezing process so I can hopefully have kids one day. I am forever grateful for this. The Livestrong Foundation was there for me during difficult times. Livestrong showed me how strong the cancer community really is and that we will never be alone.
Silu Scheffer, Breast Cancer Survivor, Author of “Diario de una ex-gordita: ¡Transforma tu cuerpo y fortalece tu autoestima!”, and Public Speaker.
Learn more about LIVESTRONG’s fertility program and how it can help you -https://www.livestrong.org/we-can-help/livestrong-fertility
You Are Never Alone — Silu’s Battle Against Breast Cancer was originally published in Livestrong Voices on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.