If you think because you're young you're exempt of breast cancer, you're wrong, today more often than ever, women in their 30's are being diagnosed with breast cancer, some of them survive but the ones that don't make it, the main reason is because they didn't get a mammogram on time.
Clarissa Alba trains For The Competition of her Life.
One June morning of this year was Clarissa's worst day, when she thought it would be a routine check up at the doctor, he gave her the news every woman fears, 'He told me I had breast cancer. Everything started to go black around me,' says Alba.
The life of this 36-year-old wife and mother of a 7-year-old girl, took a 180 degrees turn from one day to another, 'I could only think about my family, my daughter, and me; what's going to happen to my work, my training, mi life? I'm not ready to put everything on hold.'
Clarissa, a teacher and professional athlete, was training at that time for the triathlon 'Ironman' to take place in November. Her days consisted of going to work, take care of her family, bike, run and swim.
Today Clarissa spends her days getting ready for the competition of her life, beating death.
Alba was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, she says the first thing that came to her mind when she heard those words, was death and her family's future, 'I don't want for my daughter to be an orphan. And my husband?,' Clarissa asks herself with tear in her eyes.
'There's No Intimacy With My Husband,' Clarissa Alba
SinceJuly, Clarissa underwent chemotherapy, she has lost her hair, her tan skin, her complexion has suffered, she had to abandoned her job at a school, but she assured me the hardest part has been the impact on her life as a woman.
'Because of cancer I'm going through pre-menopause, I won't be able to have anymore children, that was something that really hurt me because my husband and I have been trying to have another baby for 5 years.'
Clarissa got married very young and very much in love, but says she fell in love with her husband all over again after she was diagnosed with cancer, 'Just as they say, 'In sickness and in health' That's the way it has been with my husband,' Clarissa says on top of everything there's no intimacy with her husband because of pre-menopause she has no sexual desire.
'If You Don't Take Care Of Yourself, No One Will Do It For You,' Clarissa Alba.
Clarissa says she has always take care of her health, actually just last October she had her last annual exam and the gynecologist told her everything came out normal, so when she felt a lump on her left breast, she didn't think anything was wrong, but her desire to keep training for her triathlon and not having to worry about anything else, made her call the doctor.
'Thank God I called him, otherwise I'm not sure I would still be here. You can't take anything for granted, nobody is going to take care of yourself more than you.'
'Loosing A Breast, Is Not The End Of The World.' Felicita Ray Ray
The results of the chemotherapy have been positive, Clarissa's 8 centimeters tumor has reduced in size, but what Clarissa doesn't know yet, is if her breast will survive, but if she were to lose it, Clarissa says there's something that would hurt even more, 'The pain my family will go through.'
Felicita Ray Ray, Clarissa's friend accompany her during our interview, Ray Ray is a breast cancer survivor and lost both of her breast, she says it's not the end of the world like some women in a similar situation might think, 'After everything that you and your family go through and you know this will help you live a healthy and long life, it wasn't a problem for me. You have to appreciate other things,' says this 34 year old mother of three.
The Best Advice for Women with Breast Cancer.
Being Positive, her family's support and faith is what gives Clarissa the strength to fight the cancer everyday, without its, says this courageous woman it wouldn't be possible, 'The best advice I can give women in a similar situation is; You can cry, get all your feelings out of your system, as well as anger, all your emotions, either talking, writing or going with a therapist.'
Another advice, says Clarissa is accept help, something we women find it hard to do, 'I'm a mom, wife, teacher and we give and give to our homes. But this year my therapist said, 'This is your year to receive' and I'm learning to do that.'
The Word Death Doesn't Exist, Is Not Part Of My Vocabulary, I'm Going To Win This Competition,' Clarissa Alba.
Clarissa says, she doesn't fear death, because with a lot of certainty assures me, 'I'm not going to die. I never think, what if I don't make it? I only say, when I get out of this one, this is what I'll do.'
Breast Cancer, A Latina's Worst Enemy.
According to American Cancer Society, breast cancer affects 1 in every 8 women.
Just last year, 232, 620 cases of Invasive cancer were reported in the United States, 39, 970 of these women are expected to die from breast cancer.