Neida's Cancer Journey
When Neida retired, she looked forward to years of relaxation, freedom and adventure. But in June 2021, those plans were suddenly derailed when she noticed a small bump on her breast.
“My doctor told me I needed a mammogram and a CT scan immediately,” she recalls. “That same day, I was sent to get a biopsy. I had always refused that kind of thing in the past, because I was afraid it would be painful, and I was scared of what my doctor might find.”
Four days later, her fear was confirmed: It was breast cancer.
The diagnosis came at an especially difficult time. Her husband had recently passed away due to undiagnosed and untreated cancer, and her daughter was undergoing heart surgery due to complications from COVID-19. “I felt like my life was torn apart. I didn’t know what to do,” she says. “My faith was the only thing that kept me moving forward.”
Fortunately, she didn’t have to navigate that journey alone. At Sarah Cannon Radiation Oncology at UCF Lake Nona Hospital, Neida connected with a team of oncologists, surgeons and staff, including doctors Halili, Rajpara and Velez, who helped her stay informed and in control throughout her treatment – and, ultimately, her recovery.
“Everyone was wonderful, caring and knowledgeable,” she says. “They listened to all my fears and concerns, answered all of my questions, and made me feel that everything was going to be all right. Truly the best ‘team of angels’ I could ask for.”
Less than a year after her life-changing diagnosis, Neida has rung the bell, is cancer-free and well on her way to a complete recovery. “My fears are gone,” she says. “Most of all, I feel blessed knowing that I have so much love around me … and so much life ahead of me.”