We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Albornoz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My name is Sandra Albornoz, a Colombian living in Miami, Florida, and mother of two beautiful children who have been my inspiration. I am a journalist by profession. Additionally, I have dedicated myself to giving lectures in personal growth, emotion management, and specialized in Mandalas. Recently I discovered my artistic vein, and my great new passion is fluid art and pointillism. When I paint, I forget about my pain. It gives me so much joy and happiness, it has been a Blessing. I want to talk about decision making, including risk from a personal life point of view. I was diagnosed with a practically unknown cancer called Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP) in 2015 and my life changed drastically. I went from being a very active and productive woman, to experiencing a series of very difficult situations, including extreme pain, an inability to digest food properly, or even have the simple freedom to move my body. As many know, uncertainty is the reality that many of us with cancer face on a daily basis; but perhaps even more with this rare type of cancer: only 1 in 500,000 people are diagnosed with PMP and few doctors know about it, much less how to treat it. I have done my best to deal with five surgeries, and I lost more than 7 organs, have 17 scars and lived with an ileostomy bag that my body rejected. I was exposed to chemotherapy at very high temperatures (HIPEC), and my intestine was paralyzed for several months. Finally in recovery and feeling a little better and hopeful, tests at the beginning of 2017 showed that the cancer metastasized, moving from the peritoneum to both lungs, resulting in my fourth and fifth robotic operations. Even in a country so large, far from a lot of my loved ones, I have never truly been alone. I have felt the presence of God in every moment and a network of family and friends have taken care of me every step of the way. When at last I thought that everything was in the past, in December 2017 new tumors were found in my body. Doctors agree that it is imperative to start chemotherapy to potentially stop the continuous spread of the cancer and if the nodules grow, I will have to repeat a high-risk surgery. Given the circumstances, after exhaustive research, talking to doctors and experts, and listening to testimonies from people I have come to know, I have found a complementary medical treatment that is vital for me. I know that dealing with chemotherapy while my body is weak is a very high risk. That is why I want to get as strong as possible, and this treatment, which includes specialized tests, medicines and more than 40 different types of natural supplements, a specific and vegetarian diet, and an appropriate lifestyle, has been a challenge and a blessing. My last scan showed the presence of 4 tumors in the pelvic area, lung and near the liver. My doctors want to perform another high-risk operation, but for the moment and due to Covid, I am under observation. Only time will show where my life is heading, For now I try to embrace every moment and live with happiness.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I consider myself an extremely fortunate person, since I have had the opportunity to develop professionally in many areas. As a journalist, I greatly enjoyed my role interviewing and writing on various topics, especially health. Then I ventured into a very novel field at that time, such as telemarketing, in my native country, Colombia. I was a consultant for very large companies until I set up my own telemarketing agency. That time was invaluable, as I developed many skills as an independent entrepreneur, and I greatly appreciated the work of the team of workers who always supported the agency. Then a new stage in my life begins, and that’s when I decide to move to the United States and start over. I had the privilege and blessing of working in a flower company, the largest in the United States, for more than 16 years, performing what I like the most: training and empowering all the people in the company, and supporting the management of human resources, always thinking of the good for others. I never stopped being a lecturer, setting up workshops and conferences in the area of personal growth, emotion management, therapeutic work with Mandalas and art. Then I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to stop working and at that moment my artistic gifts were awakened, and painting became my healing therapy. During this time I also had the inspiration to create my emotional growth community called Loving Drops Circle, and I have had and continue having the privilege of accompanying and helping many people on their path.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Miami is a very special place to live and offers many possibilities for the people who visit it. I love going to the ocean, and there are many beautiful beaches such as Miami Beach, South Beach, Hollywood and so many others. My connection with nature is very special, therefore I really enjoy walking and connecting with the trees. Miami offers many parks with nature trails where one can appreciate the song of birds, and the appearance of wild animals. There are many possibilities in the restaurant area, I personally like vegetarians, especially those of Indian and Mexican food. I recommend Ashioka especially. It goes without saying that this city offers multiple opportunities to make wonderful purchases with malls that offer all the alternatives. I especially like Merrick Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be where I am if it is not for the support, affection and love of so many people. But first of all, I am thankful for the presence of God in my life who has guided me at every step. I have gone through many difficult times, pain and suffering, and there has always been someone by my side. I give thanks from the bottom of my heart for the support received from my family, my parents, children and my beloved man. I also thank all my friends who have always been there in person and virtually to give me encouragement and lots of love, including many people who have expressed their support through social media. Additionally, I thank my doctors for their guidance and love.
Linkedin: Sandra Albornoz
Other: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.albornoz.37 http://www.instagram.com/lovingdropscircle