MMA veteran Poliana Botelho is about to enter the third spherical of her hardest problem thus far, but she nonetheless has an enormous smile on her face.
Botelho was recognized with breast most cancers in January 2023. After going by means of all of it as an MMA fighter — from wins and losses on the regional circuit to Bellator and the UFC octagon — she simply completed radiotherapy periods in her native Rio de Janeiro.
“I can say that is the hardest battle of my life, as a result of it’s one we’re not used to preventing,” Botelho mentioned on MMA Preventing’s Trocação Franca podcast. “It’s plenty of medicine, visiting docs on a regular basis. It’s a unique battle. It’s not in an octagon or a mat, there are not any jabs or kicks or double legs, none of that. Thank God it’s all going in accordance with plans.”
The Nova Uniao fighter mentioned coaching for MMA bouts helped her uncover the nodules in her physique as a result of she sometimes felt ache throughout coaching. Her first biopsy was accomplished on Dec. 15, the day she turned 34 years previous, and the outcome lastly arrived within the first week of January. Medical doctors referred to as to tell Botelho that had breast most cancers, and two different follow-up biopsies had been completed to find out which route they might go when it comes to remedy.
Botelho had surgical procedure within the first half of February after which started rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She is anticipated to begin oral chemotherapy within the coming days, and breast reconstruction surgical procedure ought to shut the remedy in mid 2024.
“What everyone says — and I used to be in a position to see that firsthand — is that chemotherapy is the worst half, because it calls for rather a lot from our physique bodily,” Botelho mentioned. “I’m struggling extra when it comes to picture lately with radiotherapy. I nearly haven’t any hair now. Folks even ask me why gained’t I shave it, however I lack braveness proper now.”
The previous UFC and Invicta FC fighter could lack braveness to shave her hair, however has displayed loads of it by preventing this powerful battle with a smile on her face.
“I’m feeling victorious, seeing the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel,” she mentioned. “Once I obtained the prognosis, the 2 issues that got here to my head had been: Will I lose my hair? And the way lengthy will I be away [from fighting]? At first I stored planning, ‘I’ll return on that month,’ however chemotherapy was postponed a couple of occasions as a result of my take a look at outcomes weren’t good. I noticed I couldn’t make plans.
“Ending radiotherapy was one other victory since you see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel increasingly more. I’m nearer to the top now than I’m from the place I began, so I’m nearer to truly coaching for actual in a cage, to beginning to consider truly preventing and scheduling a battle. To know that I’m attending to the top of it provides me a lot happiness.”
Botelho mentioned she will be able to’t prepare freely due to a breast tissue expander. She must be cleared to take away it six months after ending radiotherapy, someday round April 2024. Oral chemotherapy begins quickly and may final one 12 months, Botelho mentioned. If signs are as mild as marketed, she expects to renew coaching “usually” within the second half of 2024.
A winner of 9 of her 14 skilled MMA bouts, together with UFC victories over Lauren Murphy and Pearl Gonzalez, Botelho signed with Bellator after a sole Invicta FC look in Sept. 2022 for a call win towards Helen Peralta, nonetheless the promotion will in the end shut its doorways earlier than she will get the prospect to compete in its cage.
Botelho mentioned she has but to debate together with her supervisor about her preventing future, however that’s the least of her issues for the time being.
“I’m battling one other battle now, an important of my life,” Botelho mentioned.
“I don’t even know if I’m going to have the ability to battle. I believe I’ll simply enter that cage and cry.”