The Faithful Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group is a non-profit organization aiming to promote breast cancer awareness in the Rio Grande Valley. Our mission is to aid in breast cancer prevention through early detection and support services.
Get Informed. Pass It On.
Help Fight Breast Cancer.
Get involved with the Faithful Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group! Make a difference in your life and in the lives of breast cancer patients, survivors and family members. Become a Faithful Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group member and find out how the Faithful Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group can make a difference in your life. If you are a breast cancer survivor, friend or family of a woman affected by breast cancer or part of the breast cancer medical community find out how you can become a part of the Faithful Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group system. Donate to the Faithful Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group so that we can continue to provide the essential on-going support needed for healthy breast cancer survivorship.
Supporting The Fighters, Admiring The Survivors, Honoring The Taken, And Never, Ever Giving Up HOPE.
† Melina Garcia-Silva
Dolores “Loly” Ornelas
† Maricruz Bernal
Join The Fight! Become a Survivor!
On December 12, 2011, I was told “The tumor you have is cancerous.” I was fortunate that my sisters had accompanied me for my biopsy results because my mind froze! There were so many things that my surgeon said that went unheard. On our way home there was total silence until we broke the silence and started conjoining the doctor’s medical results and recommendations, and my journey began at age 54.
I come from a high history of cancer from both sides of the family. Knowingly, I did not prioritize in having my annual mammograms or was I consistent in doing my monthly self-breast examinations. I chose to believe that I was the exception to the rule; cancer could not happen to ME. Well, I have come to learn after being diagnosed with Stage 2, Breast Cancer (Invasive Ductal Adenocarcinoma), that cancer does not discriminate. Anyone, including those without a family history can get cancer.
As a single mother, I had to be strong and tell my children that I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a lumpectomy and everything else followed like a roller-coaster. I had my chemo treatments, followed by 6 consecutive weeks of radiation and one year of a Targeted Chemo Therapy Treatment (Herceptin) once a week for a full year.
This experience has taught me that as a mother, sister or daughter, you have to love yourself first in order to be there for your loved ones. This includes taking care of YOU. Do your annual exams, self-breast examinations and get to know your body. Listen and act on your gut feelings when you know something is not normal. I was fortunate to find my lump through a random self-breast examination because it saved my life. Early detection is the key to survival.
Today as a survivor, I pledge to give forward for all the blessings that the Lord has given me by bringing awareness to our community.
Dolores “Loly” Ornelas
On July 23, 2008, I had a heart attack that required a 5 bypass open heart surgery. It was the scariest time of my life. As I was recovering, I discovered a pea size lump on my right breast. I didn’t worry much about it, but had it checked anyway. If it weren’t for the heart attack, I would have not known I had breast cancer since I had just had a mammogram in June and everything looked normal.
I had a sonogram and surgery. The worst news were, “ results are in, you have breast cancer.” I went down on my knees and the doctor picked me up and encouraged me to start treatment and to not be scared; cancer was in its early stages. I followed instructions and had a lumpectomy and started chemotherapy. I received 16 treatments of chemotherapy and 30 days of radiation. I recovered and went on with my life.
On April 2011, I noticed the same breast looking different; swollen, uneven and red. My son was getting married in 2 weeks. I waited until after his wedding, and went in to see the doctor right away. He didn’t think I had cancer, but I insisted on getting a biopsy. Sure enough, the cancer had returned on the same side. I was very scared of the extension of the cancer.
I had a mastectomy and the results were encouraging. Again, I had found it in time. I had 24 rounds of chemotherapy and no radiation was required since I previously had radiation on the same breast. As a survivor, I’ve recovered and live very grateful to of had survived breast cancer twice, but never forgetting that I need to do my monthly breast exams, and continue with my follow up appointments with oncologist.
I will be truthful, I fear each time I have my follow up appointments because being a triple negative survivor, You can never let your guard down. Only you know your body so don’t be embarrassed to do your self-breast examinations.
Today as a survivor, I live cancer free, and it has been 4 years that I fought my last battle and won.
Thanking God always,
On 3-22-2012, at the age of 43, I was diagnosed with triple negative stage 3 breast cancer. I clearly remember one afternoon while showering, I felt a huge lump on my left breast. The first thought that came to mind was, no it can’t be breast cancer; mammogram was negative on November 2011. I spoke to my husband and he advised me to consult a physician. I consulted with my OBGYN the following week. When he felt the lump on my breast, he said, “If you want to sleep at night you need to get a biopsy immediately”. He immediately called a surgeon and was referred for a biopsy as soon as possible. The week after, my husband accompanied me for the results. When the surgeon came in, he bluntly gave us the news, its cancer. My husband broke down crying and I was in disbelief. At that moment I claimed to God and told him, “If you want me to go through this Lord, please walk with me throughout this journey”.
I was referred to an Oncologist, and several tests were initiated. The question arose if the cancer had spread to my bones, lungs, liver or lymph nodes. A portacath was placed as I prayed and recited Psalms 23, bringing me peace and no pain. The results came in negative for metastasize. I started my chemotherapy treatments. On the third treatment, I noticed my hair was falling off. I decided to shave my head instead of gradually seeing my hair falling off. I have to admit, losing my hair was one my most difficult times during my journey.
On my first treatment of Adryamycin medication (also known as Ruby or Red Devil), I woke up in bed with the paramedics all around me. I was confused, unaware of my surrounding and didn’t know what was happening to me. Paramedics oriented me to my name, date, time and whereabouts. I later learned that I had experienced a seizure during the night. The Oncologist informed me that he ordered a brain MRI to rule out brain cancer. I prayed to God and trusted in him that everything would be alright in Jesus name. The MRI results were negative for brain cancer, so I continued with the chemotherapy treatments. Later I experienced another seizure after my second dose of Adriamycin, therefore, the Oncologist decided to discontinue the Adryamycin therapy and classified the medication as an allergic reaction. I continued with my chemotherapy treatments and consulted with a neurologist to control the seizure activity as well.
During my journey, I became friends with other survivors and they have been such blessing in my life. We would look forward to seeing each other during our chemotherapy treatments and we would pray for the sick. We educated ourselves on how to combat this horrible disease along with God’s help. After the chemotherapy and radiation treatments ended on October 2012, I had a lumpectomy and had 12 of my lymph nodes removed.
After completion of chemotherapy treatments, several survivor friends and I initiated a breast cancer support group to educate women in our community on breast cancer prevention, education and support system. We wanted to do something in return for God’s grace for giving us a second chance of life.
On June 2014, I noticed red patches on my left breast. Oncologist then ordered a CT scan to rule out a recurrence of inflammatory breast cancer and three days later, the doctor told me the results were good.
On March 2014, I experienced another seizure activity and I started on anticonvulsant medications. The MRI and MRA were negative for brain cancer and aneurysm. The neurologist informed me that stress, anxiety and emotions can be causing me to experience these seizures. There are many truths I have learned along the way of my cancer journey. It hasn’t always been fun and it certainly hasn’t been easy, but I feel that I am a better person for it. I could never of had made it without God in my Life, the love and support of my family, and the friends I made along the way. Recovery does not happen in a day, a week, or sometimes even years.
My advice to those newly diagnosed is, trust God and have faith. Listen to your body and your gut feeling and you will find the care that you will need. I have never been happier. I have faith in myself to do more, finding new ways each and remind myself to live, and Praise God always.
Testimonial Coming Soon.
Phone: (956) 854-0127 Dolores “Loly” Ornelas
Phone: (956) 566-0850 Guadalupe “Lupita” Garcia
FAITHFUL WARRIORS BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP RELIES ON DONATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC TO PROVIDE OUR SERVICES FOR FREE.
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Faithful Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group
PO Box 1105, Edcouch, TX 78538
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Faithful Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group
PO Box 1105, Edcouch, TX 78538
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