Cancer took Anamore Valdiosera by surprise. With no family history of cancer, she explained, “…cancer actually took us by surprise.” She was just 35 years old, married with two children, and facing a breast cancer diagnosis.

Anamore wasn’t facing cancer alone, though. Her physician, nurses, and navigators helped guide her. They explained that she was one of the 80+ women under the age of 40 who have been treated for breast cancer at Carolinas HealthCare System in the last three years. She understood that as a working mother with two young daughters she was facing a long, complicated journey. And she struggled with how to tell her tight-knit family – many of whom lived in Mexico. Along with her care team, she found her explanation: “Survivorship had already begun. Our common goal was to live for at least another 50 years.”

This positive outlook played a crucial role in Anamore’s journey. She approached treatment as “time for healing holistically…and that requires pausing. It is a rest button that has to be pressed without understanding what comes after.”

What came after Anamore’s mastectomy and subsequent chemotherapy and radiation was her realization that faith and science work well together. “I thank God for letting me be in the right place at the right time; I could not have found a better medical team,” she said.

Anamore’s survivorship journey began 18 months ago. Today, she continues to enjoy reading and cooking. She savors the good and bad experiences, meditates more, and reacts less. “I treasure every moment!” she exclaimed.

To learn more about supporting Levine Cancer Institute’s program to address the unique needs of young women diagnosed with breast cancer, call 704-355-4048.