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Fight Back
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 Patty Rowuin
 Cancer Survivor Since 2006

My name is Patty Rowuin, and I am a Cancer Survivor since October 2006!! The month of October will never be the same for me. I found a lump on my right breast that the mammogram did not see that past April. That lump turned my life upside down in just four weeks. My lump turned out to be breast cancer and not just any breast cancer, but breast cancer that tested positive with the HER2 gene. In other words, that gene makes my cancer very aggressive. The cancer had spread into my lymph nodes as well. I had a lumpectomy followed with 14 months of chemo and radiation that lasted 5 ½ weeks.

I met with a dietician prior to starting chemo. I was determined to stay healthy as I began my fight. I was instructed to eat from canned food, three days after chemo until the next chemo in order to prevent infections from fresh foods. Every week when I was weighed in, I would gain 1 to 2 pounds. The weight increased week by week, month by month. Since I was a diabetic, my sugar levels went through the roof. I was put on insulin and more medication. Five shots a day and a pill collection that would make any old lady laugh, because I had more pills than she would have had!! I had gained 48 pounds by the time I ended my treatments.

I returned to work, and soon my office had moved over a mile into a new building. The only way for me to get to work was to walk from McBean and Magic Mountain to Tourney Road. I walked every day and I was happy to incorporate this exercise to my daily routine. When the pain was too much, I began to ride my bike. Soon I would ride from the Santa Clarita train station to work every day. I live in Acton, so every day my bike and I would ride the train. But, I still could not lose the weight. I had changed doctors and was now being seen at City of Hope. I had heard about a risk management study that helps patients lose weight post chemo. I had to do something. The program teaches you how to eat the correct food combinations and with exercise YOU can lose weight and keep it off. As of today’s date I have lost 65 pounds, 48 from chemo 17 from fat that I had collected over the years.