Latina Magazine Interviews Judy Reyes and Daisy Fuentes

Latina Magazine has done interviews with both Judy Reyes and Daisy Fuentes in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both women’s mothers have had the disease. Breast cancer is an issue that touches so many women. It’s sad but I think you could say that pretty much everybody these days knows at least one woman who has had breast cancer.
Here is what Judy had to say:
On her mother’s battle with breast cancer:

“It was 14 years ago; my mother was 49. She got misdiagnosed by a gynecologist she’d been seeing for 10 years. She felt something in her right breast, but he kept telling her it was a cyst. She went back to him four times in one year, but he kept saying there was no need for a mammogram. When she went for a second opinion, the doctor confirmed she had cancer. They caught it in time before it spread. She got a mastectomy and then took chemo pills, which had side effects-nausea and depression.”

The advice she offers to women going through the same thing:

“As Latinos, we’re raised to think that doctors are gods. But they’re human; they make mistakes. My mother took the doctor that misdiagnosed her to court and got a settlement. So question everything and do your research. Now we have so much information available in English and Spanish. Learn how to examine yourself and trust your instincts. I believe that people go through things so other people don’t have to. In retrospect, my mother might have gotten a lumpectomy [surgery to remove the lump, as opposed to the entire breast].”

On the bond with her family that was strengthened after what they went through:

“It made the relationship with my mother and sisters stronger, but my father left. On top of that, my mom was going through menopause. But now she lives in Atlanta; she’s healthy and happy. She has a good doctor and an extraordinarily patient new man. I say “I love you” to my family now more than I ever did when we all lived together. I guess that’s the beautiful irony of it all.”

On landing the role of Carla Espinosa on Scrubs:

“This was back in 2001. I had been going back and forth between New York and L.A. for years, doing TV pilots [none of which got picked up]. But none of the ones I’d done were as good as this one. I was the only Latina auditioning for the part, which was written for a Latina, so I went in there feelilng confident, thinking, “If I get this, I got the rent paid.” I got hired that same day, and I moved back to L.A.”

On people still mixing up her ethnicity:

“I recently did an interview for a Latin business magazine and the interviewer said, “So, you’re Puerto Rican?” And it was on-camera, so I turned to it and said, “Mami, forgive her.”

On what her family did for fun:

“Our parents would take us to clubs where [salsa or meringue] bands were playing. Guys would actually ask them, “May I dance with your daughter?” And they’d say, “Okay.” So you never had to worry about guys trying to get all fresh with you.”

On her marriage to ex-husband Edwin Figueroa:

“We were together for 11 years [they split a few years ago], and it was a gorgeous marriage. But if you don’t change together, you become two different people.”

And here is Daisy’s story:
On her mother’s guilt:

“As a woman in Latin culture, you’re the nurturer, the one who takes care of the entire family. If you’re not ok, what does that say about your ability to take care of everybody else?”

On her mother coming forward about her breast cancer battle:

“Mom saw how the taboo was shattered by survivors coming forward, and she said, “Daisy, you can tell my story in public.”

On who breast cancer affects:

“Because the older you get, it’s no longer your friends’ moms and aunts who have breast cancer-it’s your friends.”