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Abby Acuna's Story

Cancer, Charlie & Chance

My journey is one of a discovery of self. My tumor had a name, Charlie, when removed my new breast’s name is Chance.

In March 2010, I saw a lump on my left breast in the mirror. Any other time or day this wouldn't have bothered me but this didn’t seem right to me. I didn't want to know what was right either.

I had a mammogram in April and it showed something indeed wasn't right. So, I went to see my doctor to have a core needle biopsy done. This test was inconclusive. Yet, another test was scheduled, a stereotactic biopsy. I bit down so hard; part of a filling in my tooth came out. Yes, it was painful. It has been over seven months now with many tests: mammograms, X-rays, MRIs, and three biopsies, and waiting.

{The day I was told I had Cancer}

It was May 27, a Thursday. I was at work. Of course I waited until after that morning then after lunch. I figured with a full tummy and all would be good. The anticipation was too much for me and everyone else.

I went into the conference room next to my desk. I called my doctor. He was pleasant and he went on to tell me my diagnosis. The word “malignant” didn't mean anything to me at the time. Just, I knew I had it and I heard him talking but I wasn't listening. My mind was but my heart was not. I set myself up for any news that day. You just have to. I was OK with this. Or so I thought. He began to tell me I had to undergo more tests.

I remember walking over to my supervisor's desk slowly; that was the hardest walk ever! Even though it was just a few steps. I turned the corner to her cubical knowing how she may react to news. I had to take a deep breath for this one.

She was sitting looking at the computer she seen me right away asked what happen. I had to keep my composure. She asked about the results. ....I told her, “Yes.”

“What??”

“Yes, I have it.”

She then said; what????............I said yes. I have it. Still, no reaction (shocked) on my part. Her eyes were watering and then mine.

We both then said, “It will be okay, we can do this.” I then had to pick up the kids and go home. As I was approaching the truck that day, I felt that each step was like walking a millisecond at a time, in slow motion, and it seemed that way all day all so surreal. Finally, getting into the truck I called home. My dad answered the phone first. If you are like me, when a parent answers the phone, you know already the outcome and how it will feel when telling the news.

Dad says; "Hey, Abby. How are you? Is everything okay?”

“No, Dad. I have cancer.” I paused and then I sobbed. He couldn't believe it.

I cried the whole way going to pick up my children in agony. That day all I could think about was my Lorenzo and Lana! My family, my friends. I was thinking how I was going to arrange my funeral!

It wasn't long before I snapped out of it after that thought! My children and family are my strength they are my world they will see their daughter, sister, mother, friend, outlive this terrible disease. It can hurt and affect many in different ways more than one can imagine. My God! I never knew how much I was loved until this terrible cancer attacked me and news was scattered fast.

I have fought many things in my life. This has got to be the most challenging one, but I'm a good fighter! I fight now for my right to stay alive for me.

All, I want to do now and always have done for many years is to let others be aware how important it is to do the mammograms and just get checked for any cancer. This is a serious disease. I didn't know how many steps you had to endure just to get past this.

The world keeps moving forward as time stands still for me,
I am a mother with Cancer, locked in battle to be free.
For all us moms on chemo our lives are put on hold,
As we fight to stay alive, our chances good were told.
Our attitude is courage we live this life each day,
Just waiting for tomorrow, praying cancer goes away.
Walking on the edge of life We're never looking down,
United here in front of you, until a cure is found.
God bless you all. Peace!



More Stories of Hope

Every person who walks in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event has a reason for walking - and every person touched by cancer has a story to tell. These stories remind us that the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event is more than a walk. It describes the progress we're making together to save lives and create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. Below are personal stories we hope will inspire you to join us in making strides to end breast cancer!



Click one of the headlines below to read more Stories of Hope:

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Abby Acuna
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