According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Diana Gutierrez never imagined she would be part of this statistic until 2013.
With no family history and just being 38 years old at the time, Gutierrez was at disbelief.
“It was completely out of left field. I had just been checked on July the second and I went home and she had just told me ‘you’re doing great, nothing is wrong with you, come back in a year’ two days later I found the mass myself.”
Gutierrez says she examined herself and found a mass hidden under her right breast, something her doctor had missed. Getting a confirmation from a specialist was just the beginning of her journey.
“I had to wait two days to see yes or no and I think that was the hardest part up to that point of the waiting of this could be what I feared the most in my life, which was breast cancer.”
After receiving that yes, the next steps for Gutierrez were to receive chemotherapy and surgery. This overcomer, tells us first hand what it was like for her body.
“Once you go in and you get the chemo inside of you, you don’t really feel like anything, it’s day three that it felt like death. I remember after the very first round getting in my shower and literally praying that I would die because I didn’t want to be sick, I didn’t want to be a burden on my family because of the way I felt and if this was the way I was going to feel during this time. Going through this and this is how I’m going to be the rest of my life and I prayed the hardest prayer and that was death. Because you feel your body shutting down, you don’t have the strength to get up, you don’t have the strength to walk you need help and you feel like death is upon you.”
After finishing her first round of chemo, Diana’s tumor was gone but the side effects to her body had just begun.
“When we got to the second round of chemo my hair started thinning. I had my hair up to my waist when we first started this treatment and I started cutting it and cutting it and doing the pixie cut and I got to the pixie cut and once I got to that cut I noticed that it started. That your hair literally hurts, like it’s hard to explain but it hurt so I would notice that it started to fall and one night before my 39th birthday my husband was asleep and I took his razor and I just shaved my head and I said ‘I will not lose my hair to cancer’ so I shaved my head and I went and showed up to my husband and went look what I did and he said ‘you look beautiful’ so it was over.”