More great Valley survivor stories here
By Alyssa Weston, Story330
Before her Stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis in August 2018, Roslyn Castillo’s life was a balancing act between raising her three children and working.
When she was given her diagnosis, Castillo, 43, was in shock.
“After it hit me, I started getting nervous, worried, sad and afraid.”
It became clear to Castillo that breast cancer would not only affect her, but also her three children.
“My mind goes ‘What if I’m out of this life? How are they going to take care of themselves?'”
Although too young to understand the full extent of her diagnosis, her children knew she was sick – or had a “boo boo” as they called it. She was getting treatments and losing her hair.
Castillo procrastinated on getting her first mammogram and didn’t go until she felt a lump.
When Castillo felt the lump, her sister-in-law, who works for Mercy Health, suggested she go to the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center in St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital for a mammogram.
Castillo described the staff at the Joanie Abdu as welcoming and informative.
“It was my first mammogram. I didn’t know what to expect, how is it is done, or if it hurt. But the (nurses) are really nice and friendly. I was nervous. But after it was explained, I was more relaxed,” she said.
Her mammogram results showed two lumps. Because it was Castillo’s first mammogram, they were unable to tell how long the lumps had been there. She needed a sonogram and a biopsy.
“I felt scared, nervous. I waited five days for the results.”
One lump was cancerous. Surgery was set for two months later. Castillo finished eight rounds of chemotherapy. Radiation continued through this spring.
Although Castillo has never been to Panerathon, she has heard about it and is planning to attend this year.
Castillo said having breast cancer gave her a push to get healthy again and eat better. Her manager let her take time off work and now she is focused on taking time not to rush through life and take care of her body.