Being a cancer survivor myself, I can relate to the fear, anxiety, and anguish that it brings, along with many other symptoms and changes. One goes through constant reaction and changes in the body and mind. Along the way, we change our perspective. We stop caring as much for those things that used to take up our whole time. We start living on a day-to-day basis. We start caring for our own survival. Those of course are the ones that have been encouraging people behind them. Others are faced with caregivers, family, and even doctors that looks at us as if it is the end of the road.

However, our faith and mind play a tremendous part in how we deal with our circumstances at hand. No matter how bad our circumstances are, we can do a lot for ourselves, if we believe this is just a bump in the road… or a couple of bumps.

I had Stage IV Lymphoma, and I went through a difficult 8-different week stay in the hospital. I was bombarded with chemo. I lost my hair, I lost my strength. I had many different symptoms with every session. Then I had 2 years of maintenance chemo. However, if this was not enough, they discovered that my heart weakened from the chemo. My ejection fraction was 25%, way below normal. I was once again taking medication that made me feel woozy and weak.

I had (and still have) faith, a positive mind, and an excellent supportive group of individuals behind me. I am cancer free and My injection fraction is now 60%, meaning “normal”.

I am no better that anyone who is diagnosed with a terminal disease. Some of my friends call me a “fighter.” Yes, I am a fighter. I believe and treasure life, however it was this bump in the road that has helped me see even clearer. We must live life to the fullest each and every day. This was a wake-up call, and if I could do it, anyone can.

Whether you were recently diagnosed with cancer, or you are currently undergoing cancer treatment, whether you would like to attend a group or have individual sessions, let me help you cross that bump in the road with a strong, healthy mindset.

Ibis Brito, Psy.D, LMHC