CBCC hosts event to celebrate survivors in honor of National Cancer Survivors Month

June 17, 2022 /

The Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) hosted an event for cancer survivors. In this event, doctors and pharmacy techs were able to collaborate with cancer survivors to celebrate National Cancer Survivor Month.

“Your lives are very precious to us and to so many other people around you,” said Dr. Ravi Patel. “Everybody is surviving very difficult times and the journey of cancer is truly a very difficult one and your presence here symbolizes courage, love, determination, and faith.”

Dr. Patel explains that he is grateful for the celebration and he is happy for those who never gave up.

Ruben Razo, a pharmacy tech, shared his story about his own journey with cancer.

“At the beginning when I found out, I noticed a lump which was something very strange. At first, I did not want to believe it. I kept thinking to myself I am not sick, but I finally decided to do something about it, and I did an MRI and x-ray. I found out what I had and I got treatment immediately, a surgery,” said Razo.

Razo explains that the doctors told him that if he came in any later and waited any longer it could have been more serious than it was.

Another cancer survivor shared her story and what her biggest struggle was.

“Taking a shower and realizing that I was losing my hair was terrifying, and I just thought about it and I realized it was just what happens, and I went out to the garage and my husband shaved my head and I wore hats,” said Mona Vipham.
Before she started the treatment, Vipham wished she knew some of the side effects because her sister had cancer as well and all the chemo problems she had were getting sick.

“It is nice that they have something like this for survivors so people can talk it out and see what others went through or what they are going through,” Vipham.

Currently, the survival rate is increased for patients that get looked at on time.

“The biggest struggle I say is getting started because the second I heard the words ‘you have cancer’ it was unexpected and it was something I would have never imagined,” said Razo.

Razo’s next thought was figuring out what was going to be the next step: chemo, radiation, or surgery. Getting started was Razo’s biggest challenge. After seeing his doctor, Razo became more familiar with the process and he had guidance from his doctor.

Razo recommends getting checked right away if anything strange is noticeable such as a lot of pain in certain areas, or a lump. Getting treatment right away can help save lives.

Erica Murillo

Erica Murillo is a project coordinator and reporter at South Kern Sol. She was born in Bakersfield, California, and her origin is from Guanajuato, Mexico. She is a first-generation graduate from California State University, Bakersfield where she earned a degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in English. Murillo's first job was working in the fields picking grapes. She has been able to evolve and continue to grow within her career. She can be reached at erica@southkernsol.org.