San Antonio woman shares story of survival for National Cancer Survivors Month

Jessica Relucia explains how a hospital program played a big part in her journey

June is National Cancer Survivor Month and a local woman is sharing her survival story and how a local hospital program played a big part in her journey.

SAN ANTONIO – June is National Cancer Survivor Month and a local woman is sharing her survival story and how a local hospital program played a big part in her journey.

“My symptoms were just being really tired, exhausted. I was also getting pale,” said Jessica Relucio, a San Antonio resident.

Relucio also started noticing red dots on her skin. She quickly went to Methodist Hospital’s emergency room.

“They did a blood draw, told me it was acute lymphoblastic leukemia and I kind of was prepared for it already because it was the same symptoms I had the first time. It’s pretty much just the cancer in my blood,” Relucio said.

This was the second time she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Relucio said Methodist Hospital nurse navigators helped her during the difficult time.

“They provide a lot of resources. There’s a nurse coordinator who meets with you as soon as you check in and get diagnosed on the eighth floor. And they’re just really nice and willing to help you out; (they) email you, text you, and they’re always available,” Relucio said.

Stephen Mazer is one of the blood cancer nurse navigators who helped Relucio in her journey.

“She was quite fearful and anxious. It’s come back. Is it stronger, or is it worse? So, again, just kind of meeting with her, it’s okay, you’ve been through this before. You can beat this again,” Mazer said.

Mazer tries to help the patients in many ways.

“I specifically work with people who have blood cancers. And so, I usually tell people from the time of diagnosis into the time that treatment is not needed or to the time they go to transplant, I help them along their journey,” Mazer said.

Relucio received a stem cell transplant and has completed her treatment.

As a cancer survivor, Relucio hopes her story will help someone.

“I just stay positive all the time and just try and stay as active as possible,” Relucio said.

She does also have a message for anyone going through something similar.

“Breathe and relax and just lean on your family and friends,” Relucio said.


About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.