My name is Khristine Alejandro. I am 40-years-old and live is Los Angeles, California. I am a mom to my 6-year-old son, Ethan. It was a week before my 39th birthday when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 TNBC in January 2021. Really not the type of news anybody would expect to receive as a birthday present.
I met my oncologist through a friend if mine. She told me that he would call him and ask if he can find time to squeeze me in on his busy schedule. A few hours later I received a call from his office and got an appointment.
My oncologist is Dr. Berkowitz from UCLA. From the first time we met, he made me feel secure and safe. The first words he said to me was “Khristine, you will not die from this. It might not be easy, but I want you to know that we can fight this."
This tall, bald man at that moment became my angel and my hero. He told me that I will need surgery as well as chemotherapy. His personality and approachable demeanor gave me the assurance that I am where I need to be.
I have always loved my long hair. I feel beautiful having a full head of hair that I can style however I want. When I was told that I might lose my hair due to chemotherapy, I was scared and was really hoping that it would not be the case for me. So my procrastinator self did not think to face it head on and just shave it off. Imagine my horror when I saw clumps of hair fall off while in the shower. And by the time I was done showering, my hair was a whole tangled mess. It took my husband and I an hour to untangle everything and then decided to just shave it all.
When all of that ordeal was done, my 6-year-old son saw me and just blurted out: “Oh, wow Mom now you and grandpa are like twins now!” And, then he left to go and get my dad to show him how we are now the same.
On my second round of chemotherapy, Dr. B walked in and saw my freshly shaved bald head and said “Hey, we’re twins now! Let’s take a pic!” That made me smile.
Since then, I didn’t care so much that I lost my hair. I took pride and showed it off to everybody. I was proud that I am doing what I need to survive. Plus, I have gotten so many compliments on how I'm rocking this brand new style.