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Victoria Barajas

Victoria BarajasIn 2004, at 34 years old, I went to see my doctor regarding swelling in my left breast. He found a lump and the diagnosis was not good – I had Stage 3b, Invasive Ductal carcinoma [breast cancer]. I was 8 months pregnant at the time, and had no history of breast cancer in my family. I couldn’t believe that this would happen to me.

After an early delivery, I underwent an emergency Mastectomy combined with an aggressive Chemotherapy & Radiation regimen. I was able to pull through with the support of my family, friends, and colleagues. I think that getting my mind prepared for the fight was the biggest part of the battle. I realized having hope was going to get me through this journey and it did.

Then, two years later, the cancer metastasized and I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. That’s the type where the doctors tell you “go home and take pictures with your family.” Well, that attitude just wasn’t going to work for me – I had far too much going on. My oldest son was graduating from high school, my daughter was turning 3, and I’d just had another baby. Since I'd been through this all not so long ago, I knew I needed to reach out to those who fought the fight with me before. I needed all their prayers, support, and strength to overcome this second battle. Fortunately Promark Financial, the company I have worked for these past 13 years had become a Platinum sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure after my first diagnosis.

This relationship opened the door for me to participate in several events that truly lifted my spirits. I was able to meet several inspiring people who were 2, 3, and even 4 time survivors that just kept on beating the cancer. I knew if they could do it, I could do it to, because I had the right team supporting me. With my team of physician's Dr. Kangah & Dr. Gamal (Redlands, CA), the Orange Country Breast Care Center, Susan G. Komen, Promark Financial and all my friends and family, I was ready to battle it out again.

Keeping positive and setting future goals for myself gave me something to fight for. Having hope, faith, and the right mind set were crucial components in my battle and recovery. As of today, my PET scan shows I’m cancer free again, and I'm continuing to live one day at a time, with hope and faith.

If you are faced with cancer, you’re not in it alone. Reach out for support to get you through the tough times and remember "Everyday is a good day to be alive".

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