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2 breast cancer stories highlight victory, bravery in face of defeat

CLOSE TV director Sandra Lee is sharing her personal experience with breast cancer in a new HBO documentary. Her goal…


TV director Sandra Lee is sharing her personal experience with breast cancer in a new HBO documentary. Her goal is to lead to early cancer detection with others. (Oct. 5)

This is the story of fighters.

They do not use gloves and they do not step through the ropes of a boxing ring and they can never see their opponent. [19659008] These fighters do not rely on the big muscles of the body.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and pink is everywhere.

Men det er også vigtigt at bemærke at det er så mange forskjellige versjoner av dette terrifying ord som “cancer.” “

In a year, 266,120 people are diagnosed with breast cancer; 112,350, lung cancer; 64,640, colorectal cancer; 63,230, uterine cancer. These numbers are from the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation in El Paso.

That’s more than half a million Americans, and each one is somebody’s mother, someone’s father, someone’s son or daughter, sister or brother. have been here for 22 years now, “said Brenda Maxon, of the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation.

Sadly, every cancer has its own color. “

” We have people all the way through the journey. “

” Pink has done great things in awareness, “Maxon said. cancer, yellow; cancer of the brain; childhood cancer; gold; colon cancer; dark blue; ovarian cancer; teal; prostate cancer; light blue; leukemia, orange.

El Paso women fight breast cancer

Here are two stories, two stories of October, two stories of pink

Gina Posada is 53, and Sylvia Vasquez turned 53 Monday. They are strong women, warriors. , has been a very different one.

Posada was 46 when she was diagnosed. Her re sponse was predictable.

“I had always had issues with my left breast,” she said. “I had a benign tumor removed in 1995. I had to be monitored for the next 20 years. In the 20th year, they told me it came out a little different and they sent me to a surgical oncologist. “

Finding out you have cancer

Tests were done and Posada remembers being at the mailbox when she got that dreaded call.

“The doctor told me that unfortunately it came back cancer,” she said. “I do not remember anything after that. I got home and I was in shock, throwing up, crying. I have two children and I remember thinking I had to get myself together, deal with this so i can tell my kids.

“I have one male, one female and they are very different so I decided to tell them separately,” she said. “It was difficult. But I tried to be strong for them.” They were very well. “They thought that they were trying to be strong for me.”


Tim Caffey’s wife , Tina, was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago. She was told her cancer was in remission less than a month ago.

And so Gina Posada began her journey, began her fight.

“They told me in April and in May I had a lumpectomy on my left breast,” she said. “The tumor I was chemotherapy on July 5. “

She had four chemotherapy sessions, one every three weeks. She lost her hair soon thereafter.

“I looked at wigs, that scarves,” she said. “There were classes at Rio Grande about how to do your makeup. You lose your eyelashes, as well. The four chemo sessions were followed by eight weeks of radiation. “

Discovering lots of love, support

Though the fight was painful, debilitating, mind-numbing, Posada did find some good things.

” My son was so supportive, ” she said. “He went to every chemo session. He would pick me up, bring books and lunch and stay with me the whole time. .. lot of love, cooking, visitors. “

Just before Thanksgiving, Posada got the magical word. Remission. She has been in remission for five years now. She still has to meet with her surgical oncologist, her oncologist, her radiation therapist every three months.

“I’m down to just two now,” she said with a chuckle. “The radiation therapist is the first to release you.” Of course, every time you go you start to wonder what if, what if it has come back.

“That’s where my faith comes in, though,” she said. “Just say, I’m in your hands, Lord. Whatever happens, happens. “

And the fight goes one.

” Now it was too late “

Vasquez is fighting a far different fight. Her fight will never end.

” My story is a little different, “she said.” I was very active. I rode a motorcycle and I exercised and I got my annuals (checkups) regularly. I had my checkup in 2013 and it was OK. I was working out and I fractured my L1 (vertebra).

“They checked me again and they found I had metastatic cancer on my bone,” she said. “They found the tumor on my left breast. I had a mammogram every October but they missed it. Now it was too late.

“My oncologist said it’s about quality of life for me,” she said. “I’m taking oral chemo and I will take that for the rest of my life. I’ve been taking it since 2015. I can still drive. Men jeg kan ikke gjøre mye anymore. I’m on pain medication. There is a lot of pain. It seems to be traveling up my spine. “

Vasquez lost her husband to leukemia in 1998. She has three sons, all grown, and she lives with two of them.

” I need them a lot more than they need me these days, “she said wryly.” I raised them by myself. But now … “

There is no good prognosis for Vasquez. One doctor told her she had five years left. She is still fighting.

” We do not know, “she said.” I just take it one day at a time. I have my setbacks. “

Pausing, she then said,” I’m a fighter. People say I’m strong. I do not know. I do not see that I have a choice. I’m not going to lay in bed and die.

“My boys have been great and so have my family and friends,” she said. “I’ve always loved to travel. So some of the family gave me trips to Los Angeles and another to South Carolina. I love the beach. Wherever there is a beach, I love being there. “

Vasquez continues her fight, a fight that will never end. But still she fights on.


It was 23 years ago that Evelyn Lauder asked actress Elizabeth Hurley to join the fight against breast cancer. Awareness around the disease has spread over time_ thanks in large part to the pink ribbon campaign. (Oct. 2)

Raising awareness

Both Posada and Vasquez believe in October, in the color pink, in raising awareness.

“It is special to me,” Posada said. “This changed my life, the way I see people and the way I see problems. I just tell people do not lose hope. “Everybody is unique, everyone has a different situation.” Remain optimistic, even when it gets darkest.

“I’m working on my Ph.D in psychology now, “she said.” I want to help women return to work after breast cancer diagnosis. “

Vasquez laughed lightly and said,” My favorite color is pink. I wear a lot of pink. When I tell my story, I tell people I had a doubt. I did feel a little lump. But the mammogram was OK. I should have gotten checked again. I do not know if it would have made a difference. But do not doubt yourself. Get checked again. “

The fight goes on. It goes on for Posada and Vasquez and thousands of El Pasoans and hundreds of thousands across the nation and millions around the world.

October is the month of pink.

But there are so many colors and so many fights.

All the fighters are special. And this is just a tiny bit of their story.

Bill Knight may be reached at 546-6171; [email protected]; @BillKnightept on Twitter.

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