Year 2015 is over and with it a time full of emotions, new feelings, sentiments, dreams and perspectives; some of them will stay with me for ever, I must say.

I want to give my very special Thank You to all of you who helped me during my illness and treatment. You know who you are and I already expressed my sentiments to each one of you individually, but there is a group of people I was especially touched by, because I never expected such a warm reaction towards me: my patients and their families.

For months I had limited work hours, and yet every one of you understood and sent me your support in the form of prayers and best wishes. I could feel it all around me. At times we had to re-schedule appointments, with inconvenience to everyone; and yet, everybody supported me and welcomed me back when I was able to return.
I thank my office staff for being there, offering me their smiling faces and good sense of humor, even when my providers had to work harder in my absence: Crystal, Kelly, Taskina, Maureen, Teresa, my two Karens, Tina, Lorie, Jackie, Del…and every single one who made my office a joy to be in, while my body was not responding the way it used to.

But I have a special story to share. This story summarizes the kind of love I received from people I see just a few times a year, and yet they make me part of their life. There is an 8 year-old boy who has been my patient since he was born. It was the month of June and he was attending a day camp, where he participated in sports and other activities. On a very hot day, when asked to do crafts indoors, he decided to make me this pink ribbon, the symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness, and insisted to his mom until they came by to bring it to me. I am so touched by this that I still became emotional when I think of that day. This all-boy patient of mine does not show a preference from doing crafts, when he can be outside playing and being active, but when he had to do something with his hands, he thought of me, his pediatrician, and decided to dedicate his time to building this beautiful pin with his own hands.

I wear it with pride and I will it treasure for the rest of my life.

To my family and friends, what can I say? You all made me feel protected and loved. You helped by keeping a sense of normal-life and good sense of humor around me. My family in Spain and Colorado, my friends in the US and in Spain, my husband, my children … I have so many people to remember.

Thank you to the wonderful professionals at Texas Oncology Round Rock. They are taking care of me like I never dreamed I would receive. Thank you to my surgeons, Nancy Marquez and Troy Thompson, to the Round Rock Medical Center staff… I don’t have enough pages to thank every one involved in my care. You all made me feel important!

This letter may sound as if the work is done and it is time to give thanks and move on. But the journey continues and only God knows what will happen in the future. I am healthy now, cancer-free and back to my normal life, but, if I have to go again though a challenge like the one I lived, it is nice to know I have people like you all to support me. I now know I can do it. I am stronger than I never thought.

Thank You all, and God Bless You!

Marta Katalenas MD

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.