Nina Diaz: Cancer Won’t Define Me
I have cancer, but I refuse to be defined by that.
In 2013, I was given the news that I have thyroid cancer. I am the first person in my family to go through something like this. As with anyone who received a diagnosis like this, I was completely devastated and scared when the doctors told me. Once the utter shock wore off, I had surgery to have my thyroid removed and a round of radiation to kill any thyroid cells left in my body. Unfortunately, the surgery was not 100% successful.
This past July while being treated at MD Anderson, I learned that it had spread to my neck and lymph nodes and I required yet another surgery. While the surgery removed all of my lymph nodes that had cancer, my most recent blood work says it was not successful. On top of that, I lost my voice as a result of the surgery and still struggle to regain full control of my vocal sound. While all of this might sound like something that would beat a person down and change the way I live my life, I will not let cancer be my story.
I am so many other things besides a person living with this horrible disease. I have a wonderful, active life. I am a mother to amazing children. I work for a great company. These are the things I will be remembered for: my compassion, my empathy, my encouragement, my positivity. Through my experience, I have learned first-hand that each and every day is a gift. So, while I still visit MD Anderson for check-ups every six months, and while I may need another major surgery in 3-5 years, I live my life as if the cancer does not exist.
For me it’s a personal battle, but at the same time I want others to see that life goes on even when you are faced with such a scary diagnosis. It is so important for me to provide hope for others and give back when I can. Last year, I participated in the Candlelighters Walk as part of Gexa Energy’s team right after my surgery. Being able to help other families going through a cancer diagnosis through this great organization was an amazing feeling to have. I am equally as excited to be a part of Gexa’s team as we raise money in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk later this year.
I am lucky to be able to work at a company where the leadership team is committed to giving back to the community and recognizes that there are employees that have been touched with such difficult experiences like my own. Please help me support Gexa’s efforts with the Light The Night Walk by donating towards my fundraising goal today: http://pages.lightthenight.org/txg/Houston17/gexaenergy.
As part of Gexa’s support of LLS, Gexa has announced an electricity plan for residential customers that will directly benefit LLS. Gexa will donate up to $50 to LLS for every new residential customer who enrolls on one of the EveryDay | EveryNight® Low Price Plans using the promo code HOPE. Customers can sign up online at www.gexaenergy.com/hope/ or call (855) 639-8573 and mention promo code HOPE.