Don’t ignore the warning signs

Dear Editor: I read your article in the March 20th Tuesday edition of the Herald entitled Cancer’it’s nothing to ignore. I felt compelled to respond for anyone who has been through, or is presently undergoing treatment for cancer. As a native of Brady and growing up as a happy go- lucky small town kid with the hopes and dreams of the future, I would have never guessed that I could be stricken with cancer until I was 37 years old. I accidentally discovered two lumps on my neck after showering. I would have never thought anything of this and completely ignored the advice of my family and friends who persuaded me to go in and get checked out. After three biopsies, the oncologists and pathologists learned that I was stricken with Stage 2B Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease). The decision to undergo chemotherapy and radiation is very challenging. The experience was harsh and grueling. But for me, it became an immediate decision to do what I had to do in order to survive. The loving support of my friends and family, feeling needed, loved, and wanted, is what got me through two months of chemotherapy and 19 radiation treatments. In the end, I have learned never to take anything for granted, and get checked up, no matter how superficial a symptom may seem. I have also learned that the loving support and encouragement that you can give someone who is going through cancer is of the utmost hope and positive outlook for someone who feels alone, isolated, and fearful of the unknown. The good news is that I have been in remission for six years now and God willing will carry on the good fight. But only through recognizing the need to get checked up and catching the cancer at an early stage is what played a vital role for the reason that I am here today. And because I am here and able to share my thoughts, I would just like to say to anyone out there who is going through this type of challenge, that you have my loving support and encouragement always. Blessings to you, Elias (Lee) Espinoza Brady Alumni 1982

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