With our deepest sympathy, we are saddened to share that Becky Vasquez Glenn, who graciously shared with us her story below, passed away on November 8, 2012. May Becky’s strength and spirit continue to inspire and endure.
I’m a 22 year old wife and mother, and my journey started in August of last year.
I found a lump on my back about the size of a golf ball while giving my daughter a bath. I went to my family doctor to get it looked at. He told me it was probably nothing because I’m so young, it’s not painful and I’m otherwise very healthy, but he wanted to get a ct scan on it anyway. Well, my insurance denied the scan so I just decided to let it go, trusting my doctor was right when he said it was probably nothing.
Jan. 20, 2012– I was walking around the store with my mom, dad and daughter and all of the sudden my back hurt so bad I couldn’t walk. I went straight to my room to lay down thinking the pain would go away, but it just got worse and worse, I couldn’t sit, stand or lay down without it hurting so bad I could barely breathe. I finally asked my mom to take me to the hospital. This is when my mom had seen my tumor for the first time since we went to the doctor back in August. She was shocked when I showed her the lump on my back, double the size of a softball and rushed me in.
The doctor at the hospital took an x-ray, which came back normal so he sent me home with pain killers and told me to go see a back specialist. Long story short, after being sent through about three more doctors, I finally found out I have stage four soft tissue sarcoma.
After the shock wore off, I made a promise to myself that I would not cry during this experience. Instead I’m saving my tears for when they tell me I beat this.
Crying because I won the fighting is going to feel so much better than crying because I’m fighting.
I will admit I did shed a few tears when my hair started to fall out. Even though I knew it was coming, it still really shook me to see my beautiful dark, black hair falling into my hand. This was a big thing for me because my whole life I made sure my hair covered my ears because I always thought they were big. My husband had only seen my ears a handful of times.
I was in the shower washing my hair and went to rinse my hands and when I looked at them they were covered in hair. I was scared to let my husband see me so I slowly walked into the bedroom and he knew right away what had happened. He hugged me and told me I will always be beautiful in his eyes. Who can cry after hearing that?
Before my hair fell out I bought some very nice expensive wigs because I was afraid of what I would look like bald. I wore them for a few weeks while my hair was falling out but once my hair was gone I liked the way I looked and I haven’t worn them since. My bald head is like my battle scar. It shows the fight I’m fighting. I feel more beautiful than I have in my entire life.
My chemo treatments are a little more extreme than most. I go stay in the hospital for three days and get a chemo treatment each day. Then I go home for three weeks and then back in to the repeat the processes. I don’t mind going through chemo because I meet people going through a lot of the same things I am. The only side effect I have had is hair loss and occasional mouth sores. I think I’m taking chemo so well because of my attitude. I really believe that I’m in control of my health.
It’s just like a cold, you always feel worse if you stay in bed.
I make sure I stay away from all the negative things and people. It will only break my amazing attitude. This is also why my family and I chose not to hear my prognosis. I don’t care to know what someone else thinks about my future. I don’t care to know how long someone else lived with my disease. I have always known I’m in control of my future and just cause I have cancer that hasn’t changed!
The only thing that bothers me about having cancer is that everyone “feels sorry for me” I don’t ever want anyone to feel sorry for me.
How can you feel sorry for someone who sees the world in a whole new light, sees the good in everything, and gets to live each day to the fullest? I get to enjoy every smile, every sun set and every sunrise. In a roundabout way, getting cancer is sort of a blessing.
Only because I know I’m going to beat it and I’m going to come out of this as such a better person than I was pre-cancer. I feel like I was chosen because I’m a strong, stubborn person who will get through this and use my journey as a way to help others get through theirs.
One last thing, the most important thing in my mind, I need everyone to donate blood! I’m having surgery Friday, June 29 and I don’t have very good history with surgery. I’ve had to have five transfusions in the past 18 months.
This is where all of you come in; Indiana Blood Center needs 600 donors a day to meet the needs of their area hospitals.
If you, as the donor don’t pull through in raising your sleeve, people like me may not have tomorrow.
So I’m asking all of you out there to please donate blood! It’s 30 minutes of your time and one needle to save a life! So please think of us cancer patients and all we go through when trying to decide if donating is right for you.
We’d like to thank Becky for sharing her wonderful story of how her positive attitude and strong will to fight is helping her beat her disease. She needs your help as a blood donor. Raise Your Sleeve in honor of Becky, make your appointment at donorpoint.org.