The Daily Grind Video

Hello GlobalGrind!

It’s Carmelina Vargas here..

I just had a great workout and was enthusiastic about the release of my bilingual debut album, Morena.  It had always been one my biggest dream  – to put out my own album.  Many wait until the opportunity knocks on the door for this to happen, but I’ve always been somewhat different.  I do not fear knocking doors off the hinges.

I had set out to make a small ripple in the latin music industry with a full album after investing all of my lunch money into my work of art but I didn’t know that a bigger hurdle loomed before me  — Breast Cancer!

During a routine shower, I felt a small lump on my left breast and I was taken by surprise.  This lump was small but it felt strange and hard – like a marble.

Knowing the importance of regular check-ups with my gynocologist, I gave her a call.  A week later we discussed how it didn’t appear to be “malignant” but she still sent me out for a mammogram.  Wow, a mammogram I thought…hum, I thought that was for “older” folks.

I was sent for a bilateral mammogram and it was an uncomfortable and painful experiences.  In order to get an image, they had to turn my breasts into pancakes.  I am not fond of mammograms….The doctor stepped into the room and I knew then that I wasn’t leaving right away.


The doctor requested more images and I complied.  About an hour later, they told me I needed to return next week for a “biopsy”.  I was learning all the technical words as I went along. A biopsy is supposed to retrieve small samples of the mass in your breast in order to be tested and find out if it’s benign – OK  or malignant – trouble!

During my biopsy, the doctor requested I extend my left arm in order to get a better pinch of this lump –they found another lump under my armpit.  My cancer had already spread under my lymph nodes!!  They didn’t tell me this at the time, my surgeon did!

I was referred to the Chief of Breast Cancer Surgery and I needed to meet with him in two weeks.  Before I met with him, I had already done my research for my gynecologist had just dropped the bomb a week before.  “Carmelina, you have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer”. What!  OMG!  How could this possibly be? But, I’m too young to have Breast Cancer! I just launched my digital album that I wrote and produced!  I was devastated because I wanted to start promoting my album in my own way and I had just linked with this great Public Relations firm and many wonderful things were in the horizon.  My life was put on hold.


I told the surgeon that I was a singer, he smiled.  He told me I was Stage II and that I had caught my cancer in time.  He asked which “local” treatment I wanted and I told him –a double mastectomy! Yes, I chose to remove my breasts and reconstruct them because I was one of the lucky souls that could do that.  I felt I was given a second chance and wanted the best local treatment in my eyes, a girl could get.  Some people stricken with Cancer do not have the option to remove their breasts, some have to remove their limbs, brain tissue…see where I’m getting at.  My glass is always half full.

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