Desiree Maldonado

Age: Adult
Association: Survivor
Region: California
Cancer: Breast

"Through these last 3 years, I’ve learned a few things about myself and cancer. It is a crown I will continue to wear proudly."

January 1st, 2015 – New Years Day. My husband saved my life when he found a lump in my left breast. when I finally took him seriously, he showed me what it was he felt that was different. It was like a small bee bee inside my breast, it was hard and solid. It felt foreign and like it definitely didn’t belong there.

I had the “triple negative” breast cancer subtype. No lymph node activity, which was simply unheard of in most triple negative diagnosis. My stage was deemed borderline two or three due to tumor size at removal time. It was very aggressive. From my first mammogram & ultrasound appointment to the actual surgery, less than 30 days, my tumor grew over double in size.  It was a very hard subtype of breast cancer to treat chemo wise so the chemo cocktail would be a very aggressive potent mixture.

Four weeks later, I started an eight round aggressive chemo treatment. On an extra happy note, my very last week of chemo, my daughter announced to me that I would be meeting my first grand baby in nine months. To me that was a gift from God… an award for completing chemo and trying to be content without complaints while going through it. That child today this day, can bring me to tears with gratitude for being here.


I’ve had 10 surgeries, five of those surgeries were actual breast reconstruction – I tried to get used to and embrace my scars and deformed chest. But after a few months, I just knew I couldn’t live the rest of my life contently staring at this scar riddled, deformed chest I had at that time. Six month later I ended up electing to do mastectomy scar cover up tattoos and today I can face a mirror again and actually forget. Through these last 3 years, I’ve learned a few things about myself and cancer. It is a crown I will continue to wear proudly.