I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7

Skin Care for Hope features a story of a HOPE INSPIRER! This is Betty Senador, a breast cancer survivor and motivator for others who are also in the cancer journey.

Marching on with Cancer

Betty first noticed pain on her right breast after her child accidentally elbowed it in 2015. Breast examinations and core biopsy were done and showed Stage IIIB invasive ductal carcinoma. “Kinakabahan ako, takot at nagaalala (I was nervous, afraid and worried).” However, Betty’s siblings and family huddled together and decided to come together to raise the funds needed for treatment. This encouraged Betty. “Anuman ang pinagdadaanan, hindi yan ibibigay kung hindi natin kaya. Tanggapin ang pagsubok ng cancer at ibigay kay Lord. Habang may buhay, may pag-asa. (Whatever you are going through, it will not happen if God knows you cannot handle it. Accept this cancer and surrender it to the Lord. There is always hope!)”

Betty shared that it was difficult during the first few checkups at the Philippine General Hospital because they had to fall in line early in the morning, and twice experiencing being told that they could not be seen because the cut-off had been reached at the OPD clinic. Still, Betty persisted and went to her doctor appointments. She underwent one treatment after another: neoadjuvant chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiation therapy and trastuzumab therapy. Just when she thought she had completed all, another cancer lesion was detected in her left breast in 2018. This was hard both financially and emotionally because she had to undergo trastuzumab and chemotherapy all over again for a year.

Finding Strength in Community

Betty joined several breast cancer support groups like Project Pink Stage Zero where she found friendship and support from other breast cancer patients. They helped her raise funds thru “ukay-ukay” and “Zumba for a cause.” Most of all, they were there to listen to her. “May mga panahon na mabigat ang loob ko,” and she found strength from the prayers of others. Later while undergoing treatments in PGH, she saw herself form a new support group called Ka-BOOBS (Bond of Optimistic Breast Cancer Survivors). She became a light for others and encouraged others in their cancer journey. She says, “It’s okay not to be okay” and “Crying helps wash our eyes so we can see the light”. These are really insightful thoughts from a brave cancer warrior.

Last October 6, 2020, Betty graduated from her last infusion of trastuzumab thanks to all who supported her fund-raising drive “Betty Cancervive”. People she did not know donated to this drive, which really gave her hope to finish the treatments. Betty is a witness to God’s goodness and promise that He will provide all that we need.