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Sugar Land Couple Highlights Importance of Caregiving Through Cancer Fight

By Cory Stottlemeyer

Publication: YourSugarLandNews.com (Website of Sugar Land Sun), Sugar Land

On Wednedsay, Nov. 28, Domingo and Laura Salcido visited Texas Oncology for the final time as patients. After six months of treatment, Domingo was receiving his final treatment for colon cancer, after being diagnosed in May.

The couple, who will celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary this month, have spent the last six months all but attached at the hip. When Domingo was diagnosed, Laura made the quick decision to quit her job as a nurse in order to become his full-time caregiver. While her experience as a nurse has helped Laura with her caregiving duties — and the couple’s daughters and other family members stepped up to help Domingo — the past six months have been a roller coaster ride for the family, who are more than eager to return to the status quo.

“Being a nurse have been very helpful. As a couple, we knew it was going to be a struggle, and I decided that I wasn’t going to work right now because I needed to dedicate myself to taking care of him,” Laura said. “I knew we had to do this together. We’ve been supporting each other through the ups and downs together.”

Domingo was diagnosed with colon cancer in early May this year. After having a colectomy that same month to remove his cancer, Domingo has been seeking treatment at Texas Oncology for the past six months, 12 treatments total every two weeks.

“I went to the doctor complaining about a couple things. My knee had been hurting really bad, and I was getting very fatigued. It was a struggle just walking up the stairs,” Domingo said. “I went to see my primary care physician, and he asked a few questions and right away diagnosed me and sent me to a GI (gastroenterologist) doctor because I was anemic and needed blood work done as well. Right away, they did a colonoscopy, and that’s when they found the polyp, which was cancerous and was bleeding.”

“Luckily for me, the polyp was bleeding. Otherwise, it could have progressed much worse.”

In Texas alone, more than half a million caregivers provide care and support to those similar to Domingo. Places such as Texas Oncology celebrate Laura and other caregivers throughout the month of November for National Caregivers Month to highlight the vital role they play in helping those through their cancer treatment.

“She’s been extremely patient. Physically it’s been hard on me, but mentally I feel like it’s been harder on my family,” Domingo said. “I think my wife and my daughters have struggled with it more than I have.”

Domingo has kept an upbeat demeanor throughout his treatment, and is even able to cheer up those around him and crack jokes while going through treatment. It has been difficult for Laura to watch her husband go through such a drastic physical change, but she has remained persistent throughout his journey to make sure he takes his medicine, stays fed and is well taken care of.

“I take care of patients for a living, but until it hits you right in the corner of your heart, you don’t realize how real it feels. I knew I had to take extra special care of my husband,” Laura said.

“I’m obviously anxious to get back to work and get back to normalcy. I don’t think it will ever get back to what it used to be,” Domingo added. “Obviously, life has become more precious. I think I could have done this alone, but it has been a thousands times better with her by my stand helping me through it.”

Since being treated, Domingo has been adamant with his coworkers and friends about staying healthy and getting colonoscopies. His coworkers might think he is broken record, but he hopes that his continued prodding and fight with cancer will inspire those around him to get checked out frequently.

“One of my close friends, when I called him and told him what happened to me, found out it was fortuitous because a week before his doctor told him it was time for a colonoscopy. Like most males, he said absolutely not. When he heard what happened to me, he went to his doctor immediately and said, ‘let’s do it,” Domingo said. “Sure enough, they found a couple of polyps. I feel like I saved the life of one of my friends.”

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