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Sonia’s Story – The Journey: Part 1

Posted by Carly Coutts on October 20, 2021
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My name is Sonia Marcano, a realtor at Guillen Realty.

I started my real estate journey 11 years ago alongside Donna Maingot, my longtime friend, turned boss, and now without a doubt family. Life has thrown many curveballs my way, but under Donna’s guidance, love, listening ear, and prayers, I have always been grateful for my team/family at Guillen Realty.

This could not have echoed more true come April 21st, 2021.
On this day, I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.

I have been hesitant to share my story…
Nervous to tell the world…

But in honor of breast cancer awareness month, and with the support of my Guillen Realty team, I felt it important to speak out on what has thus far been the most trying moments of my life.

My hope is that if my story can support even just one woman facing what I have, it will be worth it.

Thank you to my team for providing me with a safe space to share this very important message:

“This is suspicious, Sonia”


Hearing those dreaded words immediately threw my world into a tailspin; my emotions scattered across the floor of the office in which I stood.

“How is this possible?” I thought to myself. I had JUST done my yearly check-up in November 2020, and the ultrasound, mammogram and physical exam concluded that I was GOOD. In this moment, the only reasonable explanation would be that this was all a dream…

yet I never woke up.


Let me rewind for you.


I lost my mother to breast cancer, and my sister is a survivor of it, so breast cancer has always been a concern of mine: the ringing in your ear in a silent room sort of concern. While I have lived a fairly healthy life, at the back of my mind was always a buzzing fear – because of this, I was no stranger to yearly breast checkups. I very rarely did self-examinations and depended fully on my yearly check-ups to tell me that I was good-to-go.


I’m not sure how it happened, but one particular morning while having a shower I noted a bump at the top of my right breast.
Within 2 days of finding this bump, I was in my GP’s office.

“That is suspicious”…. My doctor looked at me reluctantly. I did not know how to respond.

One week later, a radiologist determined the lump was … “very suspicious.”

Two days after that, I went to an oncologist who sang the same song…

With each diagnosis of “suspicious,” my heart dropped lower and lower to the floor…


A biopsy was next –


After the exam determined ‘very suspicious,’ my doctor readied the nurse and the needle that very day. Three samples were taken, as I lay there hoping for the best.  My loved ones would later ask if it was painful, and my answer would be, “no, it wasn’t painful as anxiety overtook.” Though the weeks to follow were painful, as I awaited my results…


“The lump is cancerous. The right breast shows to be malignant,” the results showed.

The roller coaster ride that had taken off at the word ‘suspicious’ was now speeding ahead.


What are my best options?
The whys, the ifs , the where, the when and all the questions in between flooded my mind and rolled into one.


Despite the cloud of shock, it was not a hard decision for me to decide on removing my breasts; especially after my experience with losing my mother and my sister who is a survivor.


I was devastated by my reality, but all I could do was push forward, right?
The decision was made. I will remove my breasts.

What now…

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