Cherishing Milestones as a Cancer Survivor
- Los Angeles entertainment reporter Amanda Salas recently announced she’s engaged, four years after going through a breakup and finding out she had cancer.
- Salas was diagnosed in 2019 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.
- Reaching milestones during or after a cancer battle may mean even more than they did before, so it's important to take them in and celebrate everything you've overcome.
- One multiple myeloma warrior previously told SurvivorNet she’s felt like she’s “had another chance at life” since her diagnosis because treatment over the years has allowed her to make so many memories with her family.
Salas loves reporting the latest on celebrities and pop culture. This week, however, she couldn’t help but share an exciting update from her personal life.Read More
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“He PROP'ped the question. ðŸ’ #iykyk #fiance,” she wrote in a recent Instagram. “Our place. Our love. Our future. Love is in the Bear ðŸ» â¤ï¸âœ¨”
Over the moon about the engagement, Salas also had to share the news with her FOX 11 family.
“I got engaged in Big Bear where he said 'I love you' for the first time to me,” Salas shared. “I'm someone's fiancÃ©e now!”
Salas also revealed how special the engagement was because her fiancÃ© took the time to consult her family before popping the question.
“He didn't just ask my dad, he asked my mom and my grandmother too,” she said.
Amanda Salas’ Cancer Journey
Amanda Salas’ cancer journey began when she noticed changes to her health like weight loss, low energy, “things inside [her] body [not] feeling right” and facial swelling.
But Salas had just dealt with a heart-wrenching breakup, so it was easy to dismiss some of her symptoms. After four misdiagnoses, she finally found out she had a type of blood cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June 2019.
@amandasalas For #worldcancerday here is a little bit about how I felt right before my diagnosis. ðŸ’š #cancertok #survivor â™¬ Sad piano ballad (moist / BGM)(936730) – TrickSTAR MUSIC
Unfortunately, her diagnosis came at a critical point in her career.
She had just received a promotion and was loving work, but she immediately had to put her dreams on hold for an intense treatment regimen that included six rounds of 24-hour chemotherapy, five days a week.
Living Life as a Cancer Survivor
“At first, they had to keep me in the hospital 24 hours a day so I could get chemo for five days,” she explained.
“Then they gave me a chemo fanny pack with this machine inside. I had never heard of it! Basically, I would get a shot glass of chemo an hour, and the delivery was automated. I was able to do my shopping, go to church, hang out with friends, all while getting my treatment.
“It was very convenient, albeit weird. At first, I was so worried. By round six, I was out dancing and going to comedy clubs this is pre-pandemic, of course with my chemo fanny pack, living my life while saving my life.”
Thankfully, treatment was successful and Salas has remained cancer-free ever since. But she still carries the lessons learned from the experience.
“I always cherished family, but it really showed me how much. They go through it right there with you. And they were always of service to me,” she said.
“It's made me look at things from other people's perspective more. It's made me not sweat the small stuff as much.
“And it's made me realize how I would help someone else going through this.”
Celebrating Milestones as a Cancer Survivor
Milestones that come during or after a cancer journey might mean even more because of everything you’ve overcome.
Things like getting engaged, celebrating a birthday and enjoying holiday traditions are always special, but they can take on a whole new meaning for cancer survivors.
Chrissy Degennaro, a blood cancer warrior like Amanda Salas, previously spoke with SurvivorNet about enjoying precious milestones.
Since receiving her multiple myeloma diagnosis over a decade ago as a 36-year-old mother to a 2-year-old son, she’s undergone 27 rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, a CAR T-cell trial and two CAR T-cell transplants.
Her situation is a bit different from Salas’ because her type of blood cancer is something you live with rather than cure. But that hasn’t stopped her from making the most of every day and cherishing life with her family.
"You know, I do live one day at a time," Degennaro said. "Now, maybe I can go a week, a month, but things are looking pretty good.
"I'm able to be here for more milestones for my son, for more holidays, more birthdays. I do feel like I have had another chance at life."