When Dedra Canalejo of Fyffe was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2019, it came as a big shock to her because she has no prior family history of the disease. However, with the support of her daughters (ages 18 and 11), Canalejo was able to pull through.
She began receiving treatment directly after her diagnosis. This included a round of radiation therapy and two rounds of chemotherapy. Additionally, she underwent surgery with Highlands Medical Center in Scottsboro.
Unfortunately, these rounds of cancer treatments would not be the last she experienced. Canalejo said that doctors still want her to go through more therapy since she is not in full remission, including the time she has had in between surgeries.
Along her journey, Canalejo encountered her own hardships and trials, including feelings of loneliness. However, not only did her daughters encourage her to pull through the adversity, but she also found strength and the will to endure through her faith and prayer in God.
“Just keep praying and keep God with you,” Canalejo said.
She continues to rely on her faith to carry on the fight and hopes other survivors will follow her example.
Although that faith remains unwavering, there are parts of her life that she greatly misses, such as having all of her hair. Perspective comes from realizing that hair can grow back. For Canalejo, finding the right treatment center included looking for small details, such as finding the right hair and wig styles to wear while that happens.
“When your hair comes out, you didn’t think it would really matter, and yet, you sit there and cry about it,” she said.