Turning Your Diagnosis Into a Source of Inspiration
- “The Real Housewives of Miami” star Guerdy Abraira, 45, released a new breast cancer awareness-inspired photoshoot boldly and bravely showcasing her shaved head and chemo port to inspire other women on their journeys.
- Abraira discovered her breast cancer early during a routine mammogram. Since then, she’s advocated early detection through regular screenings.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women begin screening for breast cancer at age 40. Women should talk with their doctor to learn about their cancer risk and assess when is a good time to start annual mammograms.
- A breast cancer diagnosis can spawn a flurry of emotions and impact your mental health. Research published in Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences found that “35 to 40 percent of cancer patients have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder,” patients battling late-stage cancer tend to face even more significant mental health challenges.
- To help manage your mental health while coping with a diagnosis, some helpful tips include leaning on your support group, journaling, and/or seeking a mental health professional.
“Real Housewives of Miami” star Guerdy Abraira, 45, continues to find strength amid her breast cancer diagnosis. In a new photoshoot, she fully displays her bravery and resilience to inspire her fellow “breasties.” Doused in shades of pink, the mother of two proudly shows off her shaved head and chemo port. Her beauty, confidence, and femininity coincide with her core message, “Be Savage, not Average,” noting October is breast cancer warriors’ month to stand strong.
View this post on InstagramRead More“This is our month to celebrate each other and the inner strength that we didn’t know existed,” Abraira wrote in an Instagram caption.
“Whether you are about to start your journey, going through it now, or finished, we are bonded together forever through this similar experience that has and will change us forever. Stand strong and keep your head up ’cause you’re beautiful,” Abraira continued.
According to Bravo TV, Abraira is known for being “outspoken and energetic” on the popular reality TV show. She had a successful career as an event planner before joining the show. However, since being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, she’s dedicated part of her brand to breast cancer advocacy.
Helping Patients Cope with a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
The popular reality TV star learned of her breast cancer while vacationing in St. Barts in the Caribbean this past Spring. Her doctor phoned her to tell her that her mammogram revealed she had breast cancer.
Mammograms are used to screen for breast cancer. Women who haven’t gone through menopause are encouraged to get a mammogram annually between the ages of 45 and 54. If you have experienced menopause, you can get a mammogram every two years.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women begin screening for breast cancer at age 40. Women should talk with their doctor to learn about their cancer risk and assess when a good time is to start annual mammograms.
“I am lucky that this breast cancer was discovered at an early stage. It is still scary, of course, but I have love and support from those around me, and that alone is the fuel that I need,” she previously wrote in an Instagram post.
Early-stage breast cancer means a small tumor in the breast, but no lymph nodes are affected.
Abraira has since undergone surgery, but it’s unclear what kind of surgery she had. Her hair loss is likely due to chemotherapy, a common phase for treating breast cancer. This is also often one of the most emotional phases during a cancer journey.
WATCH: Hair loss during chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy can cause hair loss. It usually begins about three to four weeks after chemotherapy and continues throughout treatment.
After having surgery, Abraira wrote that “the fight is not over,” and she thanked fans for their loving support.
Abraira has continuously credited her family for helping her through her journey. Support from loved ones is beneficial because it can help you navigate your emotions, which tend to be fluid amid treatment. The reality TV star has dedicated several Instagram photos over the summer, sharing elements of her cancer journey. When she shaved her head, she found support from her loving husband, Russell.
What To Ask Your Doctor
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have questions about keeping your strength through treatment. Here are a few questions to help you begin the conversation with your doctor:
- What treatment will I be receiving?
- What side effects are associated with this treatment?
- Are there steps I can take daily to help minimize these side effects?
- What physical activity routine do you recommend for me during treatment?
- Do you have recommendations for someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy exercise?
- Can you recommend a dietician who can help me with healthy eating tips and weight maintenance?
- I’ve been having trouble sleeping. Do you have any treatment recommendations?