Listen to a poem by Paulyette Perea, Cancer Patient

The resilient spirit of Paulyette Perea: A journey through poetry and strength 

In Las Vegas, NM, Paulyette Perea embarks on a long journey to Santa Fe every week. This trek is not one of leisure but of necessity, as she receives treatment at the Christus Cancer Center. Diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at the tender age of 32 on December 22, 2022, Paulyette’s life took an unexpected turn towards a path filled with challenges, determination, and hope.

The ordeal began with an unusual cough and a sensation in her neck, leading to a series of medical consultations that culminated in a diagnosis that would change her life. Despite the shock and fear, Paulyette found solace and strength in her faith and the memory of her mother, who had previously battled cancer. She believes in the protective presence of her mother as a guardian angel, guiding her through the darkest moments.

Paulyette’s treatment plan was aggressive, reflecting the nature of triple negative breast cancer. She underwent 12 rounds of chemotherapy, followed by an additional four, embodying resilience and positivity throughout. Her journey is not just about the physical battles but also about mental and emotional fortitude. Inspired by her mother’s unwavering positivity, Paulyette adopted a similar outlook, viewing her treatment as a source of healing rather than harm.

Amidst the trials, Paulyette found a powerful outlet for expression and connection through poetry. Her words became a bridge, connecting her experiences with those of others and offering comfort and understanding. She shares a poignant piece that captures the essence of her journey, reflecting on the pain, the fight, and the hope that define her path. The poem speaks of resilience in the face of adversity, the longing for healing, and the strength found in faith and love.

Paulyette’s story is a testament to the human spirit’s capacity to endure and thrive despite the most daunting challenges. Her journey reminds us that no one fights alone, and in the darkest moments, shared stories and expressions of support can light the way forward. Through her poetry, Paulyette continues to inspire, offering a message of courage, unity, and hope to all those navigating their battles.

As she faces each day with determination, Paulyette Perea embodies the power of positivity, the strength of faith, and the transformative nature of creative expression. Her journey and words stand as a beacon of inspiration, encouraging us all to find our voices and strength, no matter the obstacles we face.

David is a musician from Taos Pueblo who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in January, 2019. “I am so blessed to have undergone my life saving treatment at the Regional Cancer Center. Everyone —and I mean everyone— at the institute has made my experience there so wonderful. It made me hopeful and feel seriously cared about. The staff and volunteers across the board are beautiful. What wonderful and positive attitudes. To me, this is one of the main reasons that I went from a diagnosis in January of stage 4 metastatic cancer to a full recovery of just a couple of tiny dots as of mid-June. I feel totally blessed to be treated there and have so much gratitude for you people.

Blueflower is a member of the Kewa (Santo Domingo) Pueblo who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She was determined to fight the disease with every tool available to her: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

“I couldn’t let everyone down,” she says, especially her supportive husband and four wonderful children, mother, and extended family, all of whom were with her every step of the way.

In addition to being unable to work during treatment, Blueflower had to travel from Ohkay Owingeh to Santa Fe. Sometimes she would get to treatment without enough gas to get home.

“The mileage reimbursement and grocery cards were critical,” Blueflower said. “And the Foundation provided help so quickly.”

Joel K. is a carpenter from Pojoaque. In May of 2014, he was diagnosed with throat cancer which required seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation.

“Fear of financial insecurity was incredibly stressful, as I wasn’t able to work during treatment. The Cancer Foundation really helped relieve that fear. I have been able to go through treatment stress-free and was able to focus on treatment and recovery. Thank you to all of you who support the Cancer Foundation. It made a big difference to me.”