Miriam Trejo: My Journey With Cancer

JUST 29 YEARS OLD AND A NEWLYWED, MIRIAM TREJO’S THOUGHTS WERE FOCUSED ON BUILDING A LONG LIFE WITH HER HUSBAND. THOSE THOUGHTS WERE QUICKLY CLOUDED IN MARCH 2014 WHEN SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER.

 

Story By: Diane Alter

 
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Trejo’s first brush with breast cancer was about two years before her diagnosis. Feeling a lump on her right breast, her gynecologist ordered an ultrasound.

The results that came back did not seem to be abnormal. However, a year later, not only was the lump still there; a new one appeared. Yet again, ultrasound results came back normal. Trejo’s doctor reassured her that nothing was wrong and her dense breasts were normal for her age.

Yet Trejo knew deep down that something was not right.

Trejo had additional symptoms to report during her third visit to the gynecologist after the first lump surfaced. In addition to crustiness and nipple discharge, she was experiencing shooting chest pains.

She asked for something other than an ultrasound. Trejo underwent an MRI, hoping she would finally get some answers.

Still, she was unprepared for the answers she received. The radiologist told Trejo she needed an urgent mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. The results revealed she had HER2-positive breast cancer, as well as Paget’s disease of the breast.

Trejo’s father-in-law, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, suggested she call Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA).

The first phone call, the quick paperwork, and the initial consultation left Trejo feeling encouraged. Touring the hospital with a cancer survivor, she felt reassured and calm amid a sea of smiling people in an optimistic atmosphere. She knew she had come to the right place.

Trejo underwent a double mastectomy followed by six chemotherapy treatments and seven weeks of radiation. Next began a yearlong treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin®), a monoclonal antibody specifically targeted for HER2-positive breast cancer.

Miriam said her experience at CTCA® was empowering. She was part of the decision-making process from start to finish. Her care team was a crew of uniquely helpful people who became lifelong friends, along with other employees and patients Trejo came to know during her time at CTCA.

Trejo’s naturopathic oncology provider and her clinical oncology dietitian helped her manage and prevent side effects. They taught her how to shop for and cook healthy foods, and recommended supplements to take during and after treatment to help with recovery.

An educated and resolute patient, Trejo took full advantage of the integrative services offered at CTCA including acupuncture, chiropractic care, lymphatic drainage massage, pastoral support, physical therapy and occupational therapy. She also joined the Cancer Fighters® care network so she could lend support to others coping with a cancer diagnosis.

“This disease gave me a better perspective on what matters and what doesn’t matter, and a renewed appreciation for the people in my life,” Trejo said. “It also showed me what true health care really is, or can be. At CTCA, I received not only hope and encouragement, but also sophisticated medical care.”

For more information visit www.cancercenter.com

 

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