About Me

November 8, 2017
Little Pink Houses of Hope Cancer Retreat
New Smyrna Beach, FL

Hi!  I am Erika (Thoreson-Dalebroux) Balza.

I am married to the absolute kindest, most gentle and loving man, Robert (Rob) Balza.

Together, we have eight children, which includes steps, and his, and mine, now ours.  We have fourteen grandchilren, with number fifteen on the way.

After all these years of my life, good times and bad, in March, 2015, came the next portion of my journey.

At the age of 44, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer.  There is no cancer within my family.  It was a shock, to say the least.

For three months, I had experienced hip pain, but worked through the pain, as I usually did.

I finally went to the ER one Friday night with chest pains.  I told them about my hip pain as well, and a CT was done.

The ER doctor walked in at 12:30 a.m., turned off the TV, and sat down.  Quietly, she stated,

“we believe you have cancer.”

I looked at my husband, and the first words out of my mouth were,

“I’m not afraid to die.”

And then, our journey began…

Breast Cancer Statistics

Stage 0:  100% survival after 5 years
Stage 1:  100% survival after 5 years
Stage 2:  93% survival after 5 years
Stage 3:  72% survival after 5 years
Stage 4:  22% survival after 5 years