48, diagnosed at 45
Family history, no known genetic mutation
UNSTOPPABLE. Our theme for A Calendar to Live By 2021, INSPIRED, shares the word that resonates most with each of our calendar ambassadors and reflects the woman she has become since her cancer journey began. Rosa's word is UNSTOPPABLE. Here is her story.
Rosa, a firefighter and medic and a mother to two boys, felt a lump as she adjusted her bra one day during a family vacation. Having a family history of breast cancer, she was worried about what the lump could mean, though she’d been getting annual mammograms since age 35. Imaging and a biopsy revealed that the lump was, in fact, stage 2 breast cancer. Rosa underwent a bilateral mastectomy, chemo, and reconstruction, followed by immunotherapy. Before cancer, Rosa was facing challenges at work and at home, and life was tough during her diagnosis and treatment. But since her cancer journey began, she is counting her blessings and is glad to be alive. “I am embracing myself and my body because you can lose anything at any time. I’m living for today because my tomorrow is not promised.” Unstoppable is a word that Rosa says describes her well. She faced many personal challenges even before her cancer diagnosis, and also afterwards, but she didn’t let them stop her. “I was low so many times in my life,” she says. “I had to choose to be strong, to live and fight through all my obstacles. I was always unstoppable in the face of everything."
MORE TO ADD: Here are some additional thoughts Rosa has about Here for the Girls' support and what it has meant to her: "H4TG has been my saving grace since I was diagnosed. I needed women my age that understood what I was feeling. Knowing I was able to bond and see everyone going through the same challenges as me, it made me feel a sense of peace. I know no matter what that my sisters got me. We all just got each other. Going to the in-person meetings is like therapy for me and I am blessed to be part of an amazing organization of strong, loving women."