Rachael Cortez – California
I am Rachael Cortez from Lodi, California; I am 31 years old. I was diagnosed with stage 2 stomach cancer on June 20, 2014. “Why me?” I kept asking that day. I was so healthy. I have never had anything wrong. It was a complete shock to me and my husband of almost 15 years. We wondered about whom we should tell. How would we tell our 12 and 6 year old daughters that Mommy was sick? It began in November 2013, the day after Thanksgiving, when I got home from work burping a lot and had a lot of nausea that caused me to vomit a lot. I ended up in the ER, supposedly with heartburn. I must have then gone to 10 different hospitals and doctors before I finally got referred to a GI doctor in March 2014. After several tests they finally did an endoscopy and got a biopsy of my stomach and figured out the problem. I was so weak the day before I found out, that doctors said I could have had a heart attack because my potassium levels were so low due to no food not being able to pass. I had a stent put in, so I can eat now. That was scary. My husband has been my rock through all of this. He pushes me to fight every day. I’ve done 9 weeks of chemo and was supposed to have surgery on the 19th of September but due to a power outage was rescheduled for the 17th of October. I’m so ready for this to be over. I’m a fighter, and my daughters push me every day. This has been a rough road these last couple of months, but I’m going to fight this– piece of cake. I have GOD by my side and a huge family that loves me. I have faith that all will go well.