Sometimes, events in our lives qualify for those words. Although on many occasions those are just three words we say. We often become upset when something doesn’t go the way we were hoping it would. When life doesn’t match up to our ideals. Fortunately, most of our worlds are intact and we can shake off the brief frustration with the knowledge that everything is fine. What has occurred to Ellie Ramos, however defines “it’s not fair.” Her story should not happen. It should not happen to the young, middle-aged, or seniors. But it does every day.
Ellie’s world changed in 2010 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. An advocate of self-examinations, as that is how it was discovered. Due to the cancer’s aggressiveness, she underwent weekly chemotherapy treatment for four months. Surgery and radiation followed. Unfortunately, the radiation coupled with a neuromuscular connective-tissue disease called Dermatomyositis resulting from the chemotherapy, caused severe burns over her body.
“The fatigue is unbelievable,” Ellie said. “There are days when I can’t get out of bed.”
Due to her ordeal, she has leaned on the help of others. An independent person by nature, relying on loved ones has been an adjustment. Because her husband was out of town working, Ellie moved in with her parents. Her mother-in-law, a breast cancer survivor whom Ellie took care of during her illness, has been her rock. Local non-profit organizations have assisted through the illness. Susan G. Komen San Diego funds a grant for Mama’s Kitchen to provide daily meals for her and her daughter. The organizations have eased Ellie’s mind and filled her stomach.
“If I didn’t have food from Susan G. Komen San Diego and Mama’s Kitchen, I would have had to rely on my parents to not only take me in and take care of me, but to feed me, too,” Ellie said.
Through all the pain and suffering, Ellie has kept a smile on her face. The ordeal might have affected her body, but her attitude is as strong as ever.
“I get chills thinking about how awesome and how blessed I’ve been,” Ellie said.
Learn more about all the free services Susan G. Komen San Diego funds: KomenSanDiego.org/KomenServices