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Majo Lopez - Frantz Cancer Hero

Majo Lopez - Frantz Cancer Hero

At the age of 24, Majo Lopez's life changed completely and forever. Within one meeting with her doctor she went from being a very healthy person to being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and metastases in the liver. Majo shares how she chose to not just live with this diagnosis but to embrace life and also help inspire others....

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On March 17 of this year, my life changed completely and forever. At the age of 24 and being a very healthy person, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and metastases in the liver.

When my doctor told me “You have cancer”, I felt that a countdown clock had started in my life and although it seemed I was handling it very well, the reality is that I was also trying to ignore it a little and stay “normal” as much as possible. But the truth is that I couldn’t be “normal” anymore because the moment you know you have cancer, it changes you forever.

So after the initial shock, I thought:

Ok, I have cancer. Now what?

As I am young and full of dreams, I decided that I would do and take whatever it took to survive because I wasn’t going to allow any cancer to take away my plans nor my life.

Luckily, I had Frantz Tumor.

Frantz (that’s how I call my ex-cancer) was an almost “harmless” and “coolish” guy who spent several years sending me “signs” to “find him”.

Frantz Tumor (or solid pseudopapillary tumor of the pancreas) is extremely rare, has a low malignant potential and almost never metastasizes. The symptoms are not well defined but include abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting due to the ball-shaped tumor.

This type of tumor was discovered in 1959 and since then, there have been about 700 cases in the whole world. However, with the characteristics of mine (tumor in a young woman with metastases in the liver) there are many less. There are only 23 cases in the world (if we count myself) and I am the first case in Mexico.

Although Frantz is the least threatening type of pancreatic cancer and it can be cured without chemo and through a very aggressive surgical approach, my battle against cancer was more difficult and painful than I imagined. I would lie to you if I told you that I was optimistic or in a good mood all the time, because the truth is that cancer has the power to make you feel terrible…

but you just have to hang on. 

After three enormous operations, I returned to total healing. Three months after the diagnosis, I said goodbye to Frantz Tumor and its metastases, the unwanted tenants of my body.

Today, I don’t have 66% of my pancreas, the spleen, the gallbladder nor the 50% of my liver, but I am CANCER FREE.

After several ups and downs in my battle for life, I am happy to say that I’m part of the 5% of pancreatic cancer survivors.

 

This experience has changed me. The Majo I was before cancer no longer exists and thanks to the wake up call that Frantz and life gave me, I am sure that I’ll be a better person, more present and able to fulfill all my dreams. Now I have a better vision of life and I am very grateful for the quality of people I am lucky to call family and friends.

Before cancer, I had a good life. After cancer, I know that a better life awaits me. And I feel extraordinarily blessed for my SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE. With 24 years, I am more conscious than ever that the only purpose of life is to enjoy it.

As I love to write down the quotes that totally make sense to me, I want to share with you what Lalo López (my uncle and one of the greatest warriors in the battle for life) used to believe:

It is not about to lengthen your life, but to widen it”.

It is about doing the things you want to do and being with the people that bring joy to your life and help you be a better person.

I am forever grateful for Lalo’s teachings, because without him I would’ve been lost in this journey and more afraid than ever. And I also want to thank my aunts Loli and Gaby and my best friend Dany, for teaching me not to loose happiness over cancer and showing me to face adversity as only exceptional people do.

 

We can always choose our attitude and as Lalo said, the only thing you can demand yourself in life is to do it the best you can.

And before I leave you, I would like to remind you that it can not rain forever, because neither good nor bad lasts forever… and that makes life much more interesting.

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You can follow Majo and her journey and inspiring writings on her Instagram page @goodbyefrantz or her website www.goodbyefrantz.com. Thank you Majo for sharing your story, for your courage and mission to help others, and for being a hero. 

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