How Health Central has helped me fight Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Editor's Note: How do you measure inspiration? In Natalia Hernandez's case, we could point you to the stream of passionate comments that so many of you have left in the past few days (as well as Natalia's responses). Or, Natalia could forward you batches of emails she has received, as a result of sharing her tremendous story and outlook on life with us. She is a vivacious young woman in her 20's, facing stage 4, metastatic breast cancer. And, in spite of her prognosis, she has a sparkling sense of purpose and a clear sense of what the future holds. Inspiring and truly indomitable, Natalia Hernandez has chosen to join our Expert Patient team. We are grateful to have her close by.
Why I Google, Why I Write
I got diagnosed with metastatic breast (stage 4) breast cancer in August of 2007. Since then, I have felt completely alone, until I made a Google search in a moment of pure desperation that changed how I felt, I would say, forever.
I have a pretty big family, not to mention an awesome boyfriend that brings me all the flowers, and junk my stomach desires, almost everyday.
My mom is seriously my best friend in the world, without her I would be lost. I have two awesome brothers that keep me company. One is completely hilarious, and the other is my playstation buddy.
Oh my god, I can't forget my son, my 2-pound toy chihuahua who never leaves my side. I have honestly learned how loyal and loving dogs can actually be. I also have my uncle, his family, my cousin and his family, as well as a million friends, well not that many, but you get the point.
But, its not true.
I had a complete meltdown about 3 weeks ago. I got consumed with everything. My chemo's, my upcoming surgery, my hair loss -- all the things that come with cancer -- and I started yelling and screaming. I told my mom that no one could ever understand how I felt because no one that I knew was going through what I was going through.
Inside, I felt like I was standing in the middle of the world and my feet are covered in cement blocks and everyone around me is moving and accomplishing their goals, basically living their life and I am stuck with nowhere to go and all I could do is sit in the side lines and watch everyone live their life, but me.
I remember I called my brother and cried to him about how miserable I felt, and all he could say was "Nat, you're strong. Things will get better."
All I wanted was someone to say, "I completely understand you because I go through what you go through everyday, too."
At that point, I wanted to search for others like me. I Googled in search of some hope, and I found this website, mybreastcancernetwork.com, and everything has changed for me.
I got on the site and immediately found a story about a lady who had a mastectomy, and I'm having mine and don't know what to expect, so her story helped me so much.
I was on the site for a while just reading about different people. That inspired me to write my story, in hopes of helping others. I wish I had found this site sooner, because I would have had many questions answered, as well as people who understood me.
I know many of you feel alone, as I did, but this is a community where we all share the same story and the same feelings. We are here to help each other, and my goal is to help anyone who needs it.
I'm so happy to have written my story, and I thank all of you who read it and support me. You have no idea how much your warm comments and support have helped me everyday.
I had a lot of courage before, but now I feel like I made many friends that share with me something incredible. We are all united, and together we can beat this terrible disease, and we can try to have a little fun while doing it.
Cancer is going to be as bad as you let it be. Don't let it bring you down or take control of your life. Life is too short to not enjoy it. Do all the things you want to do, and have fun with everything you do, because you never know what life has in store. And always remember that we are here for each other whenever we need it.