One Houston woman’s inspiring battle against breast cancer

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

Houston’s Zulia Mejia leans on the simple yet powerful message from Yoda to get her through her battle with cancer.

“Yoda uses the force, I turn to God as my force,” Mejia said. She is battling invasive ductal carcinoma HER3 negative stage 3C breast cancer, but was happy to share with Chron that she is cancer-free at the moment.

Mejia is the epitome of a warrior ready for battle. Her life changed after her diagnosis. A single mother of two young children, Sabían, 13, and Zuly Estela, 7, she had no choice but to lace up her gloves for the fight of her life.

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“What made me go and check it out was a lump I had noticed in my left breast back in October 2019,” Mejia said. “Being 39 at the time, I thought, I’ll be going to get a mammogram soon, and I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.”

According to Mejia, she kept an eye on it, but the lump continued to grow. Around the same time, Mejia was faced with having her gallbladder removed, shifting her focus from her breast to that surgery.

“After my recovery from my gallbladder surgery in January, I made an appointment with my OB/GYN letting him know that there was a lump growing fast that needed to be looked at,” she said.

Zulia Mejia was inspired to do this photoshoot with the encouragement of Hector Martinez of Herobuilt.

Zulia Mejia was inspired to do this photoshoot with the encouragement of Hector Martinez of Herobuilt.

Courtesy: Hector Martinez/Herobuilt

March 4, 2020 is a day that Mejia will never forget.

“I had my mammogram in February of this year, and I got the call in March from my breast specialist that I had cancer.”

Overwhelmed and scared were some of the words this 40-year-old mother used to describe the roller coaster of emotions going through her mind.

“I’m a single parent. No one in my family has it. What am I supposed to do? And then I said to myself what I’m supposed to do is accept what it is and move forward. You have to be strong because you have children that need you,” Mejia said.

Mejia and her two children, Sabian and Zuly Estella.

Mejia and her two children, Sabian and Zuly Estella.

Nina Hernández from Texas Coastal Photography

It’s that mentality that helped Mejia push on.

“After being diagnosed, I went in, and I asked, okay what do we do next?” Mejia said. “What’s the point of attack? What do I need to do because I’m ready to put it behind me.”

In April, Mejia began cancer treatment.

“It was almost a blessing in disguise when COVID hit,” she said. “I wasn’t required to be at work and didn’t have many days to take off.”

The next few months were full of chemotherapy treatments.

“Right after treatments, I chose to have a double mastectomy surgery on September 17, and that’s the process that I am at right now. I am healing,” Mejia said. “Having my breasts is part

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