Nancy Revilla // Two-time Cancer Survivor Warrior // Wife of Fredy Revilla // Salsa Dancer // Nature Lover // Friends, Family & Faith Focused
I am a 2-time cancer warrior from Large B-cell follicular Non-Hodgkins’s lymphoma in 2008 and 2013. Severalmembers of my family have experienced cancer as well. My mother battled breast cancer in 1999 and ultimately passed away in 2019 with pancreatic cancer. Several other members of my family have had ovarian and breast cancer. Cancer has impacted my life in many ways, and I am so grateful to be a warrior!!
I am the wife to my soulmate, Dr. Fredy Revilla, and was blessed with a family 6 years ago. I always prayed about having a family. I have 3 stepchildren, 4 fur babies, 3 cats and one husky. I currently serve as a Board Member of the Cancer Survivors Park and the park holds a very special place in my heart! I am also a founding member of AHAM, a non-profit assisting with Hispanic scholarships and cultural awareness in 23 Latin countries. I love to salsa dance and two latin bands practice at our house every week. In my spare time I also enjoy traveling, skiing, yoga, white water rafting, kayaking and tandem biking. Spending time with my husband and friends is my happy place!
My cancer journey started one day when I was salsa dancing, and I felt a knot in my upper thigh area. I thought to myself, this is odd because it is the wrong leg to pull a muscle in. My first piece of advice to others is to always check out anything unusual right away. One of God’s blessings was that I got the knot checked out quickly.
In 2008, my initial cancer diagnosis came at a time when I was recently unemployed because of the real estate bubble. I was a realtor with a builder that just underwent bankruptcy and had AFLAC insurance. I canceled my AFLAC insurance two weeks prior to my diagnosis because I was trying to reduce my expenses. In retrospect, it was a blessing, but it was very scary on many levels at the time. While going through this difficult time, I was teaching my friends to have faith and to keep a positive outlook. I was reading my Bible and devotions every morning while listening to the birds sing to me. I encouraged my friends to be calm and collected during these trials and tribulations. Times like these are when you look up to God and know He is in charge! Proverbs 3:5-6 were the Bible verses I kept closest to my heart.
“Trust in the Lord with All your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
In 2013, the cancer came back, and I underwent chemotherapy this time because it was Stage 2. Other people were asking me about losing my hair and I embraced it by telling them this was the opportunity to have different color wigs and find out what color I liked best. My favorite memory ~ I was working one day and one of my coworkers donated a beautiful wig that was a medium bob haircut. It was a chocolate brown color and I rocked it as a beautiful brunette!! My other wig was donated by the American Cancer Society, and it was a strawberry blonde, short pixie wig. Ooo la lais all I have to say about that!!
My friends and family members were inspired by the faith that was instilled in me after my cancer diagnosis. My eyes are always looking up to the Lord and close to my heart. I started eating healthy food that helped nourish my body.Eating your greens and healthy eating is KEY!! It is very important to read the labels of products you are eating. I often refer people to www.EWG.ORG. It is a great resource to let you know the toxins in all the products we consume. Some people are shocked when they realize what they are eating or putting in their bodies….
As a survivor, you are transformed into seeing life through a different lens. We are like a butterfly that is transformed into a beautiful soul. When it rains, remember the birds are singing and gathering their food. Look for the rainbow. Always seek the positive in life. It is an opportunity for you to grow. Read positive things daily and laugh out loud! Staying positive is so important because your body feels your emotions. Go out in nature ~ the positive vibrationsfrom our planet earth are incredible! Have a picnic. Enjoy life. Take deep breaths 5 times a day because it helps clear toxins from your body. Stretch and keep your muscles engaged. The Cancer Survivors Park is the perfect place to relax, enjoy nature and do these things! Do things that bring you joy. Always keep Jesus in your heart. Sing to him every morning and keep your faith!
Lastly, I will leave you with this…Please bring some joy to a person each day with a glowing smile. The smiles of my family, friends, Dr. Jay Walls and his PRISMA healthcare team, and many other caregivers kept me going during my treatment and gave me the positive energy I needed during my cancer journey. Smiles continue to bring me great joy each and every day!! Go out and spread your smiles!!
Story by Laura Brasington
Photo by Sliced Tomato Productions