Survivor of the Week: “I am a 2 time breast cancer survivor”
Here is a look at Barbara Perdigao! This will be her 2nd walking down the Catwalk runway!
I am a 2 time breast cancer survivor from Foxboro. I have been helping brighten peoples’ smiles as a dental hygienist for over 35 years. I have also worked as a jewelry craftsman for a Boston designer and love to create cakes, cookies and desserts in my free time. Last year’s event was inspiring, fun, successful and so important to all survivors! I am happy to be returning to the second Catwalk for a Cure. Thanks Bryan!
When were you first diagnosed with breast cancer? How did it make you feel?
I was diagnosed the first time in 2000. I was surprised and scared. The second time was 2007. This time I was stunned, scared, and angry.
Where did you receive treatment? Who was your doctor? What kind of treatment?
I had radiation therapy in 2000 at Southwood Hospital under the care of Dr. V. Patel. Dr. Patricia Kennedy performed a lumpectomy on me in 2000. In 2007 Dr. Faina Nakhlis performed a mastectomy and Dr. Yoon Sun Chun performed my breast reconstruction. My oncologist was Dr. Leroy Parker. All of these excellent doctors an surgeons were at Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain, MA.
How did you cope with the breast cancer diagnosis?
I coped by thinking positively about my diagnosis and treatment. I knew that I had early stage cancer and I was receiving the best possible treatment for my diagnosis. My partner Krisanthi and my family as well as close friends were a huge support system.
How did you cope with the treatment side effects? Pharmacological and/or non-pharmacological? Herbal remedies? Spirituality?
I found acupuncture helped a lot with the fatigue from radiation. Positive thinking and prayer helped a lot too.
Are there any events or charities you take part in?
I have walked in the October, Making Stride Against Breast Cancer several times. I also participate in the Relay for Life event every June.
Ask questions! Get as much information as you can. Let family and friends know what is going on and let them help you. They feel helpless and as out of control of the situation as you do.