RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Time now for StoryCorps. Today, a father and daughter diagnosed with the same type of cancer. Ten years ago, Arnaldo Silva noticed a lump in his chest and got it checked out. At StoryCorps, he told his daughter, Vanessa, what happened that day.
ARNALDO SILVA: I'm sitting in an office with about 80 women. Everybody's staring at me. And this lady leaned over. She says, are you waiting for somebody? I said, no, I'm here for me. And I remember the doctor. He looked at me. He says, you have male breast cancer. And we got to move right away. And then I was told that you had to get tested.
VANESSA SILVA-WELCH: I took the genetic testing and went to do the mammogram. The technician put the film up to the light, and I can remember my stomach cringing.
SILVA: All of a sudden, we had to go get chemo together.
SILVA-WELCH: It was tough.
SILVA: It was, and everybody kept telling me, you, breast cancer? Isn't that a woman's disease? You know - but you were the first to say, Dad, we're going to do this.
SILVA-WELCH: I used to call you 'cause the only one who would really know what I'm going through right now is Dad. And there was never sugarcoating anything.
SILVA: There was times I said, I know why you calling me. Listen, your fingernails are going to start turning black. Don't worry. It's the chemo. I felt like I was giving you a heads up.
SILVA-WELCH: But I think being diagnosed again this year kind of did a number on me mentally. I did everything I was supposed to do. I did the chemo.
SILVA: Knowing that you're fighting it now again is hard. Is this the way my kids are going to remember me, that I gave them this disease? I don't know. There's days I just want to leave the earth.
SILVA-WELCH: If it wasn't for you and finding your lump, I would not be here. You saved my life. I'm here today because of you, so that's what I want you to walk away with. I'm blessed to have a dad like you.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: That's Vanessa Silva-Welch speaking with her father, Arnaldo Silva, at StoryCorps in New York. Their conversation is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
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