Finding Strength Through Family
- “Real Housewives of Miami” star Guerdy Abraira, 45, shares an emotional set of photos on Instagram expressing her love and gratitude to her sons and husband for supporting her during her cancer journey so far.
- The reality TV star was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2023. Since then, she’s undergone surgery and started chemotherapy to treat the cancer.
- Cancer warriors need to know they have a strong support group, which can be made up of family members young and old.
- Cancer patients with children can have increased motivation to endure difficult treatment, but experts suggest having an effective communication plan about the situation will help ease the emotional impact of the illness on them.
“Housewives of Miami” star Guerdy Abraira, 45, is known for her strong personality from the popular reality show, but amid her breast cancer journey, she’s finding strength from her family. In her latest social media post, the mother of two shared a series of touching photos of her sons and husband. She captioned the post, “My loves” signifying her family are top of mind even while battling cancer.
View this post on InstagramRead MoreIn the photo, Abraira is seen hugging her son with a gracious smile while donning her shaved head. Her youngest son, wearing a baseball cap and a white t-shirt, hugs his mom smiling back.
The reality TV star has dedicated several Instagram photos in recent weeks sharing elements of her cancer journey. When she shaved her head, she found support from her loving husband Russell.
Abraira became one of the more popular cast members on “Housewives of Miami” for her outspoken and energetic personality. She’s had a successful career as an event planner leading into the show.
She is sharing her breast cancer journey in part to help spread awareness about the disease. She learned of her diagnosis while vacationing in the Caribbean after her mammogram results revealed she had breast cancer. She underwent surgery although the exact type has not been made public.
WATCH: Introduction to Early-Stage Breast Cancer
“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.
Medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Dr. Elizabeth Comen explains how early-stage breast cancer is approached for treatment.
“Early-stage breast cancer means that there’s a small tumor in the breast, that there are no lymph nodes affected,” Dr. Elizabeth explained.
“For stage one breast cancer, the first step is to remove the cancer. If a woman needs a lumpectomy, most often she will have radiation after that. In some instances, depending on her age, she may not need radiation,” she added.
Dr. Comen adds depending on the size and other features of the early-stage breast cancer and the patient’s family history, more aggressive surgery may be optimal.
“So even for an early, stage one breast cancer, a woman may elect a mastectomy to remove her whole breast. Then, once that surgery happens, a pathologist can look at that tissue underneath the microscope and decide what treatment a woman needs after the surgery has removed it,” Dr. Comen said.
After having surgery, Abraira wrote on Instagram “The fight is not over,” and she thanked fans for their loving support.
Her recent social media posts suggest she’s still undergoing chemotherapy treatment. She shared an emotional video that shows her with her family and husband supporting her amid treatment.
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How Parents Find Strength in Children During Cancer Battle
Abraira leans on her family and sons for support as she continues her treatment. Having family support can help cancer patients navigate their feelings and emotions. SurvivorNet experts say support groups help alleviate anxiety and depression as cancer treatments become more intense over time, or when they adjust to a new normal afterward.
Sometimes young family members such as children can be incredible motivators for cancer warriors to keep fighting especially when times get tough. Facing cancer as a parent can be daunting. Fearful thoughts about leaving your children may creep into your mind and add even more to your overflowing plate.
“Cancer patients with children can have increased motivation to endure difficult treatment but may also be concerned about the emotional impact of the illness on their offspring,” Dr. Cindy Moore of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center explained to The ASCO Post, an oncology newspaper.
Although Abraira’s sons are older and are more aware of her prognosis, for parents with younger children, explaining cancer may be difficult. During these moments, Dr. Moore recommends cancer patients should discuss some of their biggest concerns with their healthcare teams. With the help of your healthcare team, you can come up with an effective communication plan to explain your diagnosis to your kids at an age-appropriate level.
What To Ask Your Doctor
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have questions about how to keep 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 in my daily life 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 maintaining a healthy weight?
- I’ve been having trouble sleeping, do you have any treatment recommendations?