Del. Rachel Muñoz (R-Anne Arundel) recently became one of an estimated 35,000 Marylanders who will be diagnosed with a form of cancer this year.
The 36-year-old Anne Arundel County mother of five children (the oldest is 10 and the youngest turned one on Monday) announced her cancer diagnosis on April 20. Did. twitter Pages where posts have been viewed more than 36,000 times.
Muñoz gave Maryland Matters an update on her condition last week after doctors discovered the cancer at another appointment a few weeks ago.
Maryland problem: What type of cancer were you diagnosed with?
Munoz: “I was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma. [where] you are not exposed to the sun.I found out at [April 18] And scheduled my surgery for next Tuesday. I had no symptoms. We learned more and more about diagnosis. People get melanoma and it can take someone’s life in 6 weeks. what did i do Too stressed? Did I not eat right? I had to realize that no one could blame me for having cancer. It was an accidental discovery. It was definitely an unexpected blessing. ”
mm: You talk a lot about your child. What did you and your husband tell them?
Munoz: “When I went [get] On biopsy there was a band-aid. I said to my kids, “here’s a boo-boo” and tried not to bump into it because it hurt so much.when the time is near [for the surgery]I said to them, “Guys, I’m going to the doctor to get rid of this boo-boo on my hip. [We’re] Take it out and bandage it and all will be well. That’s how we framed it for them. I don’t want you to end up worrying about mom. I didn’t feel that was what they needed to go through. Let them be normal, happy and smiling. It’s one of the things that keeps me going through this. ”
mm: Is there cancer in your family?
Munoz: grandfather died of illness [lung] cancer. My father had a very serious battle with cancer when he was in his fifties. He was diagnosed with leukemia.I just look at my husband and hope [the children] Get DNA from you Jokes are a coping mechanism. It was a lot of fun complaining about scars. It’s like 10 inches along my waist. ”
mm: In the just-passed Congress, the General Assembly unanimously passed House Bill 815. The measure would require Maryland health insurance companies to provide coverage for breast and lung cancer diagnostic research and would establish a cancer screening awareness program at the Department of Health. The bill’s sponsor, Del. Diana Fennell (D-Prince George’s), has been a cancer survivor for a year after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
mm: Can laws like House Bill 815 help health policy help voters, and can the government help the process?
Munoz: “Absolutely. Besides being the person with that big C-word next to me for the rest of my life, it’s [bill is] preventive medicine. That should be our focus. A lot of modern medicine in America these days is treating symptoms and cutting out chunks of people’s bodies when things go wrong. , the number of fatalities and the number of stage 4 are significantly reduced. [cancer] story.