My name is Cece Sisneros, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009.  All that publicity they do encouraging women to do self-breast exams works because I, like many women, would occasionally check for anything unusual.  On one of those rare occasions I felt something that didn’t seem right. My stomach sank; it couldn’t be cancer, right? I was only 31 years old with 2 young daughters and no history of breast cancer in my family, I honestly didn’t believe it would be cancer.

I made an appointment the next day. My nurse practitioner said, statistically, there is no way it should be cancer. However, after the ultrasound and biopsy, I got the news that I had not prepared myself for—it was cancer. It was…surreal. My family was calling me and I kept reassuring them I was fine. I didn’t know how to explain to anyone my feelings, I was more scared of the un-known than anything else.

Because I caught it in the early stages, my oncologist (who I love) thought all I would need was a lumpectomy. She recommended a surgeon who agreed, but before he took out the tumor he wanted to do an MRI to see how much to take out. This is one of the things that saved my life! The MRI results showed another tumor, one that was deeper and bigger than the one that I found.

So, now I had two tumors and a new decision to make. I needed a mastectomy on the right side, and it was up to me if I wanted the left one removed as well. The chances of it returning to the left side were high. I couldn’t imagine ever having to go through all this again, so I decided to go forward with the double mastectomy. Once I felt like I knew everything that was going on, and I had some type of control of my body, I started to feel better. I went into the surgery with a smile on my face. It was the day I would become a survivor.

I have been cancer free since May 28, 2009. I am currently in remission and feel great.  A self-breast exam gave me the to fight it in the early stages and although there is always the chance of the cancer returning, I do my best to take every precaution: I exercise, I try to eat healthy, I take supplements my doctors suggest …and most importantly, I embrace life with a positive attitude and infuse humor into every challenge I encounter!