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Embrace the raw Warrior from within

Full Name: Deanna Caballero

Type of Cancer: Triple positive Invasive ductal carcinoma with DCIS Grade III

Instagram: Deecab

Facebook: Deanna Urzua Caballero

I just dropped off my daughter in Boston , 2000 miles away from home, to attend her first year at Berklee College of Music.  10 days later I’m telling her over FaceTime that I have CANCER.

In December  of 2021, I had my annual mammogram. This has most always meant an ultrasound to biopsy for me since I have a history of dense breast tissue and fibroadenomas. My primary care Dr referred me to see a surgical oncologist to chat about these fibroadenomas and  my density. My husband and I left that appointment feeling well informed  and that this was just going to be our path. Always sending me for a biopsy of something looking not like a cyst but fibroadenomas were benign.

After the biopsy the skin is angry and I felt what I thought was scar tissue. I kept massaging it and just thinking it was taking a long time to heal. Busy working mama, clean bill of health, just benign fibroadenoma, I ignored it for a bit. Fast forward to July when someone went in for a hug and I felt a dull deep ache and I knew something wasn’t right. I sent a MyChart message to my Dr and  she brought me in for a mammogram which lead to an ultrasound. This time the radiologist said “this spot is new. It wasn’t there in December. It could be a fibroadenoma given your history but if it’s not at least we caught it early”.

They called  for a  biopsy the week we were in Boston. I scheduled it for when I got back. We arrived wet faced from crying dropping off our first born to college on a Sunday. My biopsy was that Tuesday and they called me that Friday before Labor Day to tell me the four letter word you never want to hear.

My husband and I sat with it the whole long weekend until we had the action plan. Sitting in the unknown is the  worst and we couldn’t do that to our kids. We needed to know what was next, what is our action to kill this cancer. Thankfully that Tuesday we got the action plan. I had invasive ductal carcinoma triple positive. HER2 positive made sense. It was interval cancer, fast and aggressive showing up in between mammograms. We called a family meeting and FaceTimed our daughter in Boston and had our 16 year old son with us while we shared the news. I still remember the reactions on their faces.

I am only sitting on the other side of round 2/6 of chemo. I still have surgery and radiation on deck along with a year of anti HER2 infusions.

I am hopeful. I have an entire community behind me in Santa Barbara not to mention the immediate love of my husband, kids and family surrounding me.

This journey thus far has been eye opening to the amount of love that has come full circle back to me. My cup is full in the midst of this battle and that’s what helps carry me through. That and I am a badass warrior that allows days of raw emotions and days of warrior strength. Embracing both is crucial to the healing.

Sending you so much love and strength in your battle as you read this. You can do it! Find that inner Warrior and start the journey. One day at a time.

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