Thoughts on Perseverance: From Cristina

March 15, 2022

Meet Cristina - Ms. July 2010 | Diagnosed at 39 (2009)

Cristina’s shares highlights throughout her life where she persevered.

My mom passed away from complications from surgery (she was about to start treatments for uterine cancer but needed a procedure beforehand and didn’t wake up from anesthesia), when I was 7 years old. Me and my sisters were raised by my father’s family. He passed when I was 28, while I was in Marines.

Then there’s that, I chose the Marine Corps to join right after high school. I had no idea for some reason that the amount of females that join the Marines is much less than the other services nor did I know that the boot camp was more difficult! But I persevered - made it through bootcamp, made a career out of it, and retired 20 years later at the age of 38!

Then to be diagnosed with breast cancer right after I retired. My sister passed away with breast cancer at the age of 44 and I believe it was her voice that kept nudging me to get checked. I finally listened and got an early diagnosis of breast cancer on my left side. If I would have waited for a lump to appear I don’t believe I would have survived. So, I persevered over that obstacle by following my intuition. I ended up with a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation.

I got divorced while in the Marines and had my treatments while I was a single parent. I did not want my daughter to worry about me, so I always made sure to put on my best face around her, that took a lot a perseverance right there. She knew I wasn’t my normal self but had no idea what I was going through. I still attended events, held 2 birthday parties during my treatment time, with one being an overnight one. So, I felt like I persevered over having my treatments affect her childhood memories.

Now I live every day to the fullest, my passion has always been traveling so now I make it a priority while before being diagnosed it was just on my wish list.

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