Local woman to be recognized at Breast Cancer Survivors Luncheon
Harris Health System will honor local breast cancer survivor Liliana Delgadillo Chavez in commemoration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The organization has invited Chavez and a number of other area women to attend a Breast Cancer Survivors Luncheon Oct. 23 at Bayou City Event Center, 9401 Knight Road, Houston. The luncheon is a the result of a collaborative effort between Harris Health System and its partner institutions of MD ANderson, UT Health and Baylor College of Medicine. The event will bring together women who have received cancer treatment at Harris Health Systems, Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson hospitals.
Having come from a family with a high risk for cancer, Chavez had already experienced the tragedy of the disease twice before when her aunt died of breast cancer and she lost her brother to cancer when he was only 37. As a result, Chavez thought she would recognize symptoms of the disease, but when she started feeling overly tired at age 35, she blamed it on everything except cancer. When her arm started tingling, she bought a bigger bed.
In April 2010, she noticed her left breast was enlarged and immediately scheduled a mammogram and ultrasound. She was diagnosed with cancer that day.
Chavez started chemotherapy treatment that June at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, which is part of Harris Health System. Upon completion in December, she had a radical mastectomy and started radiation. Today, she is on a five-year regimen of tamoxifen and has a checkup every six months.
"This is the best team in the world," she says of her treatment at Harris Health LBJ in a press release. "The chemo nurses are so kind; I love these ladies. Everyone is so nice."
Chavez also says she's learned a lot, although she still doesn't like the hand she has been dealt.
"I was always skinny," she says. "Now I eat healthy foods and exercise. I eat fruit, lean meat, fish. I even learned to love salad."
Her advice for others who are suddenly diagnosed with cancer?
"Make recovery your life's work," she says. "I don't want people to think I'm going to die because I had breast cancer. I'm going to survive. I'm going to live. I'm going to be strong."
Harris Health System is a vast healthcare system serving residents of Harris County, Texas, with a focus on primary care, wellness and prevention offered through its network of 44 inpatient and outpatient facilities. Harris Health is a recipient of the prestigious National Committee for Quality Assurance designation for its patient-centered medical homes. The health system is staffed by physician faculty and residents from nationally ranked medical schools, Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.