I felt like a failure to my family

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Cancer can be a sad path or an inspiring lesson, your choice depends upon how you want to survivor it. Stomach cancer survivor Roy Arredondo made his choices and learned from his journey.  

Arredondo was 33 years old in 2012 and working in IT sales out of Chicago when he was diagnosed with stage 2 stomach cancer. He has a wife and 2 boys who were ages 4 and 1 at the time. “My life changed dramatically,” said Arredondo. “I was depressed, I was scared, I was angry, and I felt like a failure to my family.”

In the US, Stomach cancer is not common and thus routine screening was not conducted.  But Arredondo started facing symptoms and he had to go to the doctor. He says he just felt “off.” He additionally perceived that a portion of his side effects was like ones his mom had before she was determined to have cancer. All things being equal, his cancer analysis was stocking news. Arredondo says telling his family was difficult, particularly because they were all the while managing his mom's malignancy.

His treatment included a medical procedure to evacuate 2/3 of his stomach, 5 months of chemotherapy, and multi-month of radiation. Arredondo completed treatment in June 2013 and specialists found no more proof of cancer In spite of this news, he started to battle with misery.  “I was scared I wasn’t going to see my 2 young boys get past grade school. It was difficult coming home from work every day when I didn’t know how to handle my emotions. I bottled it up and hoped it would just go away”, he said.

His treatment was ended and finally, after 6 weeks, he started feeling motivated. He was encouraged and felt happy about himself. To feel more independent, he ran his first 10K mud obstacle course. Since then, he’s participated in about 2 or 3 of them every year that helps him raise money for nonprofits that support young adult cancer survivors. For him it is much more than a race, it’s a challenge that he tackles every time and proves that he is going strong n healthy.

During that first year after treatment, Arredondo and his better half kept on searching for approaches to help lift him out of his downturn. Alongside their family, they framed a group and partook in their nearby American Cancer Society Relay For Life occasion in Naperville, Illinois. It is held each year in networks around the world, fund-raising to put resources into research and to give data and administrations to cancer patients and parental figures. "Meeting other youthful cancer survivors and encountering the fellowship, knowing you're not the only one – that has a major effect," said Arredondo. His family has now made Relay for Life a yearly custom.  

It was during a week-long backpacking and canoeing trip to Utah with a non-profit organization for teens and young adults with cancer that Arredondo says he found himself again. “Going out in the wilderness, climbing canyon walls, and seeing the view from the top lets you see how small you are in the grand scheme of things. It helped me let go of my anxiety,” said Arredondo. “I met amazing survivors and learned how to deal with life after cancer. I came back a new man. I’ve been working with them since to help other young adults like me who are battling cancer.”

Arredondo says his learning’s have made his experience progressively positive this time around. He's being much progressively vocal, particularly via social media, to tell others how things are going and what he needs.

“Every day I try to find the positivity in people, friends and family,” said Arredondo. “I have my up days and I have my down days. All I try to do is stay positive, stay engaged with work, create memories with my family and more importantly remind myself that being positive and trusting in my oncology team that this will all work itself out again.”




Written by -

Meena Kumari