THREE RIVERS – When all is said and done, Dianna Luna hopes to do much more than simply survive breast cancer.
The 51-year-old mother of four has already suffered through an extensive mastectomy and faces many rounds of chemotherapy.
Luna hopes to be able to one day say she has completely and utterly triumphed over the disease.
Hers is a journey that has wracked up unbearable personal pain and thousands upon thousands of dollars in medical costs.
But you’d never know it just to look at her. During a recent interview at her home, her natural poise and grace was much more evident than the suffering she has endured.
Now, the Three Rivers resident is nearing the end of her treatment: chemotherapy. On a leave of absence from employer Campbell Drug Store, she is on a mission to eradicate the very last bits of cancer from her body.
After that, she hopes to forever remain cancer-free, live her life and love her family and friends for as long as humanly possible.
“But I know I’m going to lose my hair—I’ve already bought a wig,” she said with a smile.
During the interview, Luna made a point of thanking her many friends and family members who have supported her so ferociously.
Her thoughts were also on events geared to help others with cancer—such as Relay For Life, which starts this year with a special April “Paint The Town Purple” event that holds true to its stated purpose by using purple paint to designate participating businesses.
The Relay For Life of Live Oak and McMullen counties starts at 6 p.m. May 2 at George West High School. To inquire further, visit relayforlife.org/liveoakcotx.
A Sunday benefit to raise money for Luna’s costs was held in her name.
All events are full of wonderful people offering much-needed help, she said.
“A lot of angels have helped me get through this and they all know who they are,” Luna said.
She said her experience with the disease has transformed her into a very spiritual person.
“People ask me what they can do for me and I just tell them: Pray. Pray for me,” she said. “That’s what I want people to do. I am overwhelmed, and I get speechless, and I cry at how generous this community has become. There is much love and compassion in this town. I am so blessed with my family, and my husband and I want to bring something good from something so bad.
“I want every lady to know they should examine themselves and check themselves for cancer as much as they can. It is so important to learn this.”
Luna monitored a lump on her left breast for two years before having the Nov. 6 biopsy that revealed a 5-centimeter tumor.
It was Stage One and hadn’t gone into her lymph nodes. However, it did require the aforementioned surgery and chemotherapy.
“It was horrible,” she said. “I started crying so much. I was so emotional and the hardest thing was telling my children.”
The Three Rivers native has been married to David Luna for 23 years. Those four children are Yvette, 31; Victoria, 25; Jonathan, 23; and Michelle, 20.
After she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she elected to undergo a mastectomy (involving the complete removal of her left breast) in December, because she didn’t want to worry about the cancer coming back.
She said the aftermath of this surgery was probably the worst pain she’d ever felt in her life. It took months for her slogging through waves of agony to be able to even sit up slowly.
She plans to go into reconstructive surgery after she finishes chemo. But knows the memory of this ordeal will stay with her forever.
With the pain came some anger.
She asks herself: How could this have been prevented? Why wasn’t the tumor detected before it could grow as big as it did?
As the questions swirl around, her first chemo session begins soon.
The Progress will continue to monitor and post reports about her journey.
Anyone who wishes to contact Luna in the meantime can email her at email@example.com.