My name is Claudia, and I’m a patient of Dr. Noel Natoli. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 24th, 2020. I was the one who felt a lump on my breast. I got in touch with my gynecologist right away. They did a sonogram and a mammogram, and they found that it was not looking good. They sent me to get a biopsy and on March 24th, that’s when I got the results and they told me that it was breast cancer.
It was not well taken because, honestly, I wasn’t expecting that. And I got together with my children, we’d sit down, we talk about it. I received support from my family and friends, and it was good. It was good for me to feel strong enough to face whatever was coming after that.
Since I got diagnosed, I knew that the tumor was going to be very aggressive. I was not going to be able to go back to work. It was five long months of treatment, being really sick most of the time. The more that I get chemo, the more it took more for me to recover. After when I was done, it was just getting my body prepared for the surgery.
When I had my double mastectomy, I had my breast reconstructed the same day. When they did the surgery, the lymph nodes that were removed were tested on pathology right from the surgery. They came out negative, but then they run them again for another checkup. And one of them had a little cell of cancer. That’s why I had to have radiation and chemo again.
My strength, of course, is always my children and my granddaughter. Also, family — having my mom here was really good support. And my friends. . . It was a long path I have to go through. And then I finally have nipples, that was the finish of my reconstruction in April of 2021.
I feel blessed. I feel alive and thankful for all the people that were surrounding me… all the doctors and nurses and all the staff that helped me get through this. And like I said, again, my family. But I feel good. I feel strong. I’m still battling the side effects of the chemo. But besides that, I feel good. I feel great that I can walk by myself and that I can do so many things that I was not able to do a couple of months ago.
I’m looking forward to being well enough, back to work, to being the same person that I used to be… independent. And trying to finish raising my son so he can just go to college. And that’s a blessing.