Sept. 27 was a significant day for Aurora Amaro. It marked the end of her chemotherapy.
“They’re giving me a break of about three weeks, and then we’ll start doing radiation,” said Amaro, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in March. She’s had a lumpectomy.
Like many women, Amaro is a caregiver; taking care of others before she takes care of herself. In November, she put off her annual mammogram because she was taking care of her godmother who had Alzheimer’s disease. Amaro, who is originally from Puerto Rico, had moved to the Augusta area to care for her godmother.
One of seven children, two of Amaro’s sisters also had breast cancer. Her oldest sister died of the disease when she was 38. Despite that, Amaro said she didn’t test positive for any of the genetic markers for it. She’d found a lump, and it was painful, but she didn’t seek help until after her godmother’s death in March. It was only then that Amaro put her own health in focus. But she does encourage women to take care of themselves and not put off important screenings. She said she knows many who don’t take care of themselves out of fear or lack of resources. Amaro said she wants to inspire other women.
Losing her hair was difficult, but Amaro has decided to own it and be bold.
“I put on my makeup and my big hoops, and I’m a star,” she said.
And going through the illness has given her a new lease on life. She isn’t done with living and has plans for the future. One of them is to go back to school and get a job in the medical field.
“This has been a dream of mine before, but now I have renewed it,” she said.
Amaro is the mother of six and the grandmother of four, and she has a heart for children, especially babies and toddlers.
“I’d really like to work with children with cancer,” she said.
Adults can express where it hurts or what’s bothering them; babies can only cry. She’d like to be a voice as much as she can for the hurting ones. She finds people respond well to her.
“People tell me ‘you have such as way about you.’ It’s the Lord. He’s given me His light.”