Meet Beth: Finding Strength Amid Crisis

Beth Ramas found out she had breast cancer at a turbulent time in her life. Her older sister had received the same diagnosis just a year before. Her mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. And soon after Beth’s diagnosis, two other siblings were diagnosed with other types of cancer. While maintaining a positive attitude was sometimes a challenge, she also recalls the great outpouring of love and support she received from others.

“Although it was my own journey, I didn’t feel alone.”Beth Ramas

“My family was always by my side,” recalls Ramas. “My siblings took turns taking care of me. I always had a shoulder to cry on. When I cried, they all cried with me. My mother and all my loved ones kept me fighting.”

Beth also benefitted from the kindness of friends and strangers. “There was a Bible group that came to the house and prayed for me even if there were times when I was too sick to join them in prayer. I was deeply touched by the anonymous PTO donations that I received from my Dignity Health family. I felt important and well loved by so many people which made a huge difference.”

Finding Strength Amid Crisis

“There was a time when I felt like a melting candle slowly flickering, almost ready to sputter out,” says Beth. “I was thinking my days are numbered. I wondered, ‘Am I going to make it? Will I make it through the holidays?’ I kept these darker thoughts from my family. I could only confide in my partner. So you know what she did? She threw me a party with my friends and family and a handful of coworkers. They made me feel they were with me in spirit, and this is the main reason I am still here today.”

After Cancer, Making a Difference

“When I learned I was in remission, I took a deep breath, shed a few tears, and said, ‘Yes, I made it! Thank you Lord!’” says Beth. “I have learned to embrace life and treat each day as if it were my last. Like they say, don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Soon after her recovery, Beth shared her experiences and message of hope with a very special group of people. Her sister-in-law invited her to a Breast Cancer Awareness forum that she had organized in General Santos City, Philippines. Beth was just supposed to be a guest speaker but she turned out to be the star of the show. “At the last minute, the oncologist couldn’t make it, and I was to cover for him the entire time,” says Beth. “Public speaking is not my forte, but I managed to speak for a good whole hour. There were about 45-60 people there. I shared my journey with them and had a Q&A forum. I know I made an impact just sharing what I had been through.”

Mammograms are critical for finding breast cancers in localized and early stages. We hope this story will inspire you to get screened at a facility near you. To schedule a mammogram in your area, see the following: http://dignityhlth.org/mammography

Photo credit: mRio on flickr