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By Rachel Gobep, Story330
Cyndi DiClaudio became a grandmother soon after she was cleared from breast cancer. She never thought she would get this far in life after cancer.
“There’s a lot of what-ifs and struggles through the treatment,” she said.
DiClaudio, 54, from Warren, came to the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center. She paid for a 3D mammogram to make sure all was fine because a lump was found in her left breast that was not cancerous about two years before, after a 2D mammogram.
In September, a suspicious lump was found in her breast.
“They would not have found that out if they did not do that 3D mammogram. The 2D did not show it,” she said.
DiClaudio said at the time of her diagnosis, she had no lumps. It was a shock. Her treatment began a little more than a month after her biopsy.
“It was just so fast. It was just a whirlwind,” she said.
When DiClaudio was told her diagnosis, she didn’t cry. She felt like she was in good hands because she said Joanie Abdu is better than any place she has gone for a mammogram.
“I knew that I was in a good place for some reason,” she said.
DiClaudio underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation.
She said this is not the first tragedy she has been through. She lost a son.
“Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare,” DiClaudio said.
She said she believes it helped her through this experience.
“I wasn’t going to let cancer beat me,” she said.
DiClaudio said cancer has changed her life because things she thought were important aren’t so important to her anymore – such as cleanliness of her house and doing the dishes. She found what is more important is going out to dinner with friends and enjoying life.
DiClaudio also loves to travel and wants to experience everything that is around her.
“I want to take [my grandson] and show him what the world has to offer,” she said.
DiClaudio attended Panerathon for the first time in 2018. At the time, she was still getting radiation, so she couldn’t walk the whole way.
“I was just in awe. I could not believe how big and how wonderful the whole situation was,” she said. “It was overwhelming.”
DiClaudio said she believes Panerathon has done a lot to educate and allow people to know that there are others going through breast cancer.
“When you find out that you have cancer, you can look. You can do research,” she said. “You can ask doctors questions … but until you talk to somebody else that has had cancer… that’s when you feel like you connected. I think Panerathon does that. It allows people to get connected.”