How Being Diagnosed With Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Connected Me To My Roots


Speaker and Integrative Cancer Care and Wellness Coach Eileen Fuentes on how triple-negative breast cancer connected her to her cultural roots.


Wellness and healthy living has become very trendy. It seems as if everyone is sipping on smoothies and doing yoga. While I have always been health-conscious, the messages I was receiving in the media confused me about what to eat and how to live. Like many women, I thought low-fat anything, artificial sweeteners, and highly processed foods were good for me.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) at 34 years old that I made it a point to really understand how to eat and live in order to reduce my risk of recurrence. What makes TNBC unique is that there are no targeted therapies to treat it and it has a poorer prognosis as compared to other breast cancer subtypes. While I’d agree with you that this cancer is definitely “negative”, the name actually refers to the fact that the cancer is estrogen receptor negative (ER-), progesterone receptor negative (ER-), and HER2/neu negative. This disease also disproportionally affects premenopausal women and those of African-American and Latino heritage.

The fact that I fit into both categories and had no family history motivated me to look closer at what I could do given my limited medical options. Below are 5 lifestyle changes that I made that were beneficial:

Continue Reading: How Being Diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer Connected Me to My Roots | Living Beyond Breast Cancer Blog


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Dominican Republic Here We Come – #JetBlueAMiCasa

For the past week, friends have been reaching out to me as a result of a commercial that features my family and I. All five of us had the distinct honor of being chosen to receive round trip tickets to what I believe is the most beautiful island in the world, the Dominican Republic.

JetBlue_Eileen Z. Fuentes

As you can see in the video below, we did not know that we were going to receive this amazing surprise. It has been almost four long years since we’ve visited the little country where my parents were born and I can’t wait to reunite with my loved ones. Before you watch the short video below, grab tissues… you’ve been warned.

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Spice-Infused Chocolate Almond Butter Goji Berrie Cups

Chocolate Almond Butter Goji Berrie Pops

While I haven’t talked about it on the blog, I have been leading a weekly wellness program at Columbia University Medical Center since the beginning of the year. As I’ve mentioned, I LOVE teaching the class but it takes up a lot of my time. Keep in mind that I still work part-time, all while caring for my three young daughters. It is the reason why I have very little time for anything else. For our potluck-themed farewell party, I also needed to bring a dish myself. Since it was our final class, I also needed to summarize everything I’ve taught my group so far. Needless to say, I had a lot on my plate. Given my limited time, I needed to bring something that could be prepared quickly and that wasn’t entirely healthy. I know this must sound crazy coming from me but after spending so much talking about health-supportive food, I also wanted to let the group know that we need to be flexible as we go out into the world and incorporate all we’ve learned. Flexibility is vital for this unpredictable world we live in, even when it comes to food. Yeah, I said it…

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Massy Arias a.k.a. Mankofit: Going from Depression, To Cancer, To Athlete!

Photo: @Mankofit Instagram

For more than two years, Massy Arias, a.k.a “Mankofit” has utilized fitness as a way to overcome depression. She arrived at just 13-years-old from the Dominican Republic and spoke no English. She was also the caregiver to her brother who had been diagnosed with cancer. Fast forward to the present and they are both using physical fitness to heal their bodies and their mind while changing the world. Massy is now 25, living in New York City and is a celebrity fitness trainer, athlete and model.  You can even see her in action with Trey Songz in his new video.

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VIDEO: I Made A Quick Appearance on “Love In the City” | OWN TV

I have been waiting anxiously for the premiere of Love In The City on OWN TV. I’d be lying if it wasn’t  because I knew I made a quick appearance.  Also, there are two breast cancer survivors featured in the docu-series. I think it does a good job of showing that there is life after cancer, and that life can be a positive one. So be sure to set your DVR or to check them out on Saturday nights at 10:00PM EST. I know I will!

Check out Tiffany Jones’ video below where I make my second ;-) OWN TV appearance. The first time, I got to meet the Big “O”!

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Why Black Women Die of Cancer | NY Times By Harold P. Freeman

Melinda Beck via NY Times

SINCE the early 1970s, studies have shown that black Americans have a higher death rate from cancer than any other racial or ethnic group. This is especially true when it comes to breast cancer. A study published last week in the journal Cancer Epidemiology found that, in a survey of 41 of America’s largest cities, black women with breast cancer are on average 40 percent more likely to die than their white counterparts.

The principal reason for this disparity is the disconnect between the nation’s discovery and delivery enterprises — between what we know and what we do about sick Americans.

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I am one of 21 Breast Cancer Survivors Sharing My Insights In A New FREE Guide!

I’m very excited to announce that I am one of the subjects featured in a new guide with 20 other inspirational cancer survivors. Each of us reveal our insights  and “secrets” for what we wish we would have known when we were diagnosed, going through treatment, and about our lives after cancer. Gai Comans who put this project together is a health and wellness advocate who has a passion for helping women thrive after their treatment for  breast cancer.

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A Great Weekend For Women, Food Justice, And Inspiration (VIDEOS)

Other than The Walking Dead, I don’t really watch much television consistently. I love to see the characters overcome unthinkable challenges week after week. Michonne and her katana sword are my favorite characters in the show. Even though there may be a lot of great things to watch, I simply don’t have the time for it. That said, I did catch parts of two important events, one on television and the other on my computer. I came away really inspired by what I saw and it gave me hope that everything is not just crappy scripted “reality” TV.

This weekend TEDxManahatan took place. I gained a lot more knowledge of the food justice movement and with information on how to support local organizations that are doing tremendous work in our communities and beyond.

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Green Matcha Chai Latte for Warmth and Cancer Prevention

It has been REALLY cold recently. Snow and ice are showing up in places that are completely unprepared for it. Fortunately, I have a temporary but noteworthy solution, a good-for-you drink that will warm you up and help your body stay healthy at the same time.

Matcha tea has been used by the Japanese for centuries. This finely ground green tea is loaded with a highly-potent compound called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCg. Of all the antioxidants, EGCg is known for its anti-cancer properties. Scientists at the University of Kansas believe EGCg to be approximately 100 times greater at protecting the body’s cells from free radical damage as compared to other teas. That alone is enough reason for you to ditch your morning coffee in exchange for this powerhouse elixir. If that doesn’t entice you, matcha tea also helps us to burn calories, it supports the immune system, and helps to detoxify the body. The best part of it all is that it’s flavor is much milder than the more common varieties of green tea and requires little to no sweetener. Matcha tea does have naturally-occurring caffeine but it is about half of what’s found in coffee plus it releases the caffeine into the body gradually while helping to regulate blood sugar levels.

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Elixir Profiles: Q&A with Latham Thomas

Latham Thomas is a graduate of Columbia University & The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Latham is a maternity lifestyle maven, wellness & birth coach, yoga teacher, and author. Her book is titled, “Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to a Fabulous and Abundant Pregnancy”. Her television appearances include The Dr. Oz Show, Fox News LIVE, CBS News, NBC-LXTV, and Inside Edition. She has been featured in the New York Daily News, New York Post, Time Out New York,, Whole Living, Experience Life Magazine, and The New York Observer. She lives in Harlem, New York with her 10-year-old son Fulano, a well known deejay, model, and all-around cool kid.

I reached out to Latham for a Q&A after watching her new interview series OM on the GO. In this show, she covers a variety of wellness topics. I LOVED all the episodes but her talk with Venus Williams really resonated with me on a deep level. Venus discusses how she dealt with illness and how she learned to develop a winners mentality despite the difficult setbacks. You can view that video by clicking the image below.

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