10 Things I Learned From Cancer

By Guest Blogger: Alessandra Halliden 


I’m sure you have caught yourself daydreaming and making plans for the future. But, have you ever caught yourself imagining what it would be like to receive the news that you have just been diagnosed with cancer? Probably not! That thought also had NEVER crossed my mind too, but today, after learning much more about cancer, I know that 1 in every 5 people will be diagnosed with it! It is a really scary statistic. Look around you. 1 out of 5!

Over the past year, I have met many women with breast cancer, and what amazed me was, that even though the physical diagnostics could be similar, the reactions, stories and mind shifts couldn’t be more diverse. Every time I hear a new story, my mind compares how we, human beings, can be so alike, but also, so unique.

My name is Alessandra. I am a 42-year-old Brazilian living in Florida with my husband and my 6-year-old son. In November of 2017, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was lucky enough to feel an 8mm node in my left breast doing a self-examination.

The early detection saved my life. Breast cancer detected at early stages is most likely to be cured, the survival rate is 99%! But, even though my tumor was very small, the genetic test showed that I carried a rogue gene called TP53, also known as Li Fraumeni Syndrom. With this result, we decided on a long-term prevention and I went through a double mastectomy, followed by 12 sessions of chemotherapy with a drug called Taxol and another 9 months of Herceptin. This caused huge mood swings and partial loss of all my hair.

10 Things I Learned From Cancer Featured Beauty: @alessandrahalliden

Now that I have been through all the steps, I can say that the fears and expectations were much worse than any of the events themselves. 

The support of all people around me, whether they were family, friends or doctors, the trust in God, the energy I felt every time I did exercise, fueled me to go through all the hard days. And, If there is something that life taught me, I want to share it here with you all.

1) Be aware of what your body is trying to tell you.

2) Do periodic health checkups.

3) Drink at least two liters of water a day.

4) Do at least 30 mins of exercise every day.

5) Reduce the amount of alcohol. 

6) Be in constant contact with nature.

7) Meditate, Pray, be grateful.

8) Remove negative people from your life.

9) Reduce refined products (sugar, flour, etc). 

10) Be kind to everyone, we all have our own battles.


Whatever obstacles are in my way, I hope to always remember what cancer has taught me: Make memories, celebrate small victories and live life to the fullest!


About the Author

Alessandra lives in Miami, where she has her treatment and works as a personal shopper. She is part of a support group for Latin American woman called Caminando con Olga. You can get in touch with her or get to know about her daily routine on Instagram.

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