Meet outgoing and energetic Cindy Salonga, daughter of a Breast Cancer survivor.
These are her words:
"I’ve signed up for dozens of 5Ks, breast cancer walks and causes. Given my extended family history, I’ve donated and volunteered for multiple breast cancer awareness charities and events. I was deeply involved with the cause, or so I thought.
It was August 2012, and for the first time in my parents’ 45 years of marriage, Dad travelled overseas solo. My parents have always been attached at the hip, but during this time, there was a sudden illness in the family. Dad had to book a last minute flight and leave his wife at home.
I was in my late-20s at the time, and still living life invincibly, until reality knocked heavily on life’s door. It was Mom, herself, that broke the news to me – the docs discovered a malignant tumor in her right breast. Mom remained calm and collected on the phone, while I tried to hold back the tears and hide the cracks in my voice. All I could think about was that she was alone when she heard the news. So without another moment’s thought, I immediately packed my weekender and travelled to stay with her until Dad flew back to the United States.
Mom underwent conservative treatment for her right breast: a lumpectomy and radiation. She was then prescribed multiple medications causing grief side effects and would undergo dozens of follow-up tests: ultrasounds, MRIs, mammograms and biopsies. But the results for both breasts were continuously riddled with calcifications and cysts.
2012 – 2014 was a dark moment in time for my family. 2 years doesn’t seem that long, but it truly felt like an eternity. Conversations were dismal and hope was a tiny speck of light at the end of the tunnel. I mustered all the strength I could find, just so I could speak with my parents daily without breaking composure.
Fast-forward to early 2014, Mom courageously opted for a preventative double mastectomy. It is a common misconception that no boobs equals no breast cancer, but it is tough to live with fear and worry. Mom sought to do everything she could to stay alive. And rather than worrying over how we would pay for everything, we directed our focus to hope and gathering all the right information.
It’s been since April of last year’s surgery and we still wait for the day that Mom will be deemed totally cancer-free. In the meanwhile, it’s important to keep a positive attitude, hope, fight and survive."
Blends would like to extend our thanks to Cindy for sharing her journey. We send prayers to her mother.
We would like to thank all the brave individuals who contributed to our month-long project on breast cancer awareness with NBCF. And a special thanks to all the individuals who supported the cause!