Young Tulsa Mother Proud To Be Called A Cancer Survivor

Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 10:07 am
By: LeAnne Taylor

Hearing the words "you have breast cancer" is never easy, but imagine having a 4-month-old baby when you get that diagnosis.

That was the case for one Tulsa woman. Just a few years ago, what should have been the happiest time in her life, turned into one of the hardest.

"Julian was an in vitro-baby so we tried to have him for over five years until we finally did it so I was very, very happy to be pregnant with my third child," said Elian Hurtado.

But little did she know, just six months after this picture was taken, Elian Hurtado would be diagnosed with breast cancer.

"It is like a death sentence. That day I feel like you have your days count you have to do something and so even before I call my husband, I call an attorney, that day from the parking lot, I call and say I want to make an appointment for a will," said Elian Hurtado.

Elian felt that way since she had lost her mom to ovarian cancer when she was very young. But once she met with her doctor, she started to realize the cancer was treatable and she would survive.

"It has more meaning than what it seems. You have to let go and just believe that you're going to be ok," said Elian Hurtado.

"I always say she has the heart like a bull. It was impressive that she could do it," said her son, Sebastian Jarve.

Bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, all part of her arsenal to fight breast cancer and win, but all weapons that took away the parts that made her a woman.

"One day I look at myself in the mirror, I had no breasts I had no hair, and that day I learned but I'm still me. You can take everything from me. Actually I have no ovaries any more. I have all the female organs from me, but I'm still me," said Elian Hurtado.

"Do I really want her complete or do I really want her. I'd rather have her. I mean the other stuff really didn't matter. What I want is to her is to get old together, for her to see her kids, grow up, graduate from college, get married, for her to get to know her grandchildren, enjoy that with her and that's the important thing," said Elian's husband Rick Jarve.

Elian is using her story to encourage others to get in and get checked. And she's helping to raise money by participating in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure.

She says it was at last year's race, her outlook on life changed for good.

"That day I switched my mind from being sick to being a survivor. You know they give you the survivor shirt and I'm like I'm no longer a cancer patient. I'm a survivor," said Elian Hurtado.

Elian says besides her family, friends and neighbors played a huge part in her recovery. She's now hoping her story will not only help women who are diagnosed but she wants to reach out to the Latino community to get the word out about early detection.

Elian plans to have a team again this year for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, coming up Saturday September 15, 2012 at OneOK Field.

You can either start your own team or you can join my team at LeAnne's Team.