“I am blessed with a new life!”
By Robbie Pangilinan
Brazilian actress, host, and model Daiana Menezes saw death face-to-face when she was diagnosed with breast cancer triple positive stage 2B last year. It was a dark time, but she emerged unafraid and came out stronger.
“I am no longer scared of pain and death. I can honestly say I am happy now. I learned the value of every moment in life. Life is precious, don’t waste time on negative people and situations,” says the international endorser, host, actress, singer and painter.
Beginning of 2018, Daiana felt a lump on her left breast. It was a new year, and Daiana was hopeful that it was just a cyst. During her breast ultrasound, nothing was evident when her arm was raised in the position for self-examination. Daiana insisted on redoing the ultrasound with her arm down and something with a weird shape showed up.
“They said that’s how the malignant type looks like, I was still trying to remain positive and unfortunately, I couldn’t do the biopsy right away, as I was going to sing and dance in two shows in Dubai, and I knew I couldn’t move around if I had biopsy which was also the doctor’s advice. In my mind I thought, I need to work, I need to save even more now that I had an uncertain situation on going, I prioritized my work and had to wait for a while, finish my concerts and hostings,” says the workaholic graduate of the New York Film Academy.
“There’s not a particular degree of difficulty that we can put in words when you get diagnosed with cancer. No matter what type, your world just seems to fall apart. My family was shocked because of my age and lifestyle, but they helped me and gave me a lot of support,” shares Daiana, who finds strength in her mother and family in Brazil, and friends in the Philippines.
Daiana’s doctors, incumbent president and CEO of St. Luke’s Medical Center Dr. Arturo S. De La Peña, Dr. Farrah Augustin Bunch, and Dr. Homer Lim, advised Daiana to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to avoid being stressed.
“The most difficult was to adapt to my new diet. And I thought I was a healthy eater. It was a total change,” adds Daiana, who’s busy with her music being now released with her group, 8ONE led by her, Ryan Klos and Tommie King from Atlanta, USA, and King from Brooklyn, NY, committed to defying normal cultural boundaries through music.
Daiana says if she could have done more before cancer, she would have prioritized herself, lived a stress-free life, not waste time worrying so much, eat a lot, and spend more time around positive people.
“Many people don’t know that about me, but I’m a giver and I forgot to love myself before I got sick. I guess those are my only regrets but I don’t like talking about it because every moment I wasted on stress was also a lesson for what I am living now,” says Daiana.
Her faith and family keep her strong and fighting. The 31-year-old still has many goals in life, including having a baby one day and building her own family, making more music and inspiring people going through struggles.
“The greatest I learned is that time is precious. Your existence is important, don’t let anyone make you think otherwise, believe in yourself, love yourself, that’s the only thing you can guarantee for the short time you’re given on this earth, be thankful every day” ends Daiana.