*Are you happy at the moment?
No. I am normally the happy bubbly person bursting with energy and this would be an easy answer. I can typically find happiness anywhere I land. However, I can’t say I am happy today.
Why? I’m am fighting for my life battling leukemia and separated from my 2 year old son. My heart aches. But I will say I am blessed. God has sent so many angels to my side to help me fight including my husband Cesar, my sister, mother father and step-mom who take turns taking care of our 2 year old son Gabriel and our pet Isabella…not to mention the friends all over the country I have praying for me. My biggest angel, my husband who gives me my strength to go on each day. On days I am suffering, I look at my husband and think of our wedding vows, “in sickness and in health.” Never have I been happier about a decision I made in my life. I married a true angel and an amazing man. For those reasons, I feel so blessed.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Slow down and stop trying to do it all!
I was and remain the over-achiever and even at the age of 16 I was a very busy bee preparing myself for the real world and working, doing every extra-curricular activity available and be a straight A student.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
No doubt, a cancer diagnosis will teach you a lot. The biggest lesson is how precious life is and the power of positive energy. It’s hard being on a cancer unit where it is not uncommon to hear of someone’s passing. It can be down right scary. I have to stay positive and know that will not be me. I will go home to my baby.
But when you live your life going non-stop juggling a TV news career and trying to be super-mom… Cancer will put everything back in perspective. You begin to step back and appreciate the little things and the value of creating memories.
The few days I get with my son between treatments are so valuable.
I no longer wait for him to nap and run non-stop around the house to see how much I can get done. I curl up next to him and sometimes just hold him in my arms. When I have no strength to go to the park again and he looks at me and says “Park” — I still light up and make it happen..
When I’m multi-tasking and not paying attention to him and he says “it down mommy” for SIT DOWN.. I stop what I am doing and I sit down.
My world revolves around creating memories and cherishing relationships. Taking time for the people I love.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
The next 12 months is dedicated to fighting cancer and winning.
Part of that process involves staying as fit as possible to fight… i call this “Armoring Up” and I have made #ArmorUp my motto and my message to others. The more fit you are, the better you can fight. This battle is serious and if you show up out-of-shape, over weight, diabetes, high blood pressure you can’t get the full dose needed to fight. Who wants a half fight for their life? My mission is to educate others through my journey by sharing real and raw stories from my hospital room to inspire people around the country and the world to get up and GET FIT to FIGHT.
An ArmorUp Website is under-construction- in the meantime:
Clean Eating, Clean Living is my blog to follow my story. It was intended to continue my clean eating segments I did on FOX News in Austin, Tx but was quickly turned into a cancer blog.
You can also find me on Facebook on my fan page at: Loriana Hernandez
*What’s your secret to happiness?
My secret is to be kind to others and love life. Value and treasure every moment. Don’t judge others. Everyone has a battle they are fighting. Whatever negative is thrown your way find a positive. For me.. I am taking this negative diagnosis and turning into something positive. A new outlook and a chance to reach out to others and save lives through my journey.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Prayer and Yoga.
*What’s your biggest regret?
Not insisting with my husband that we make time for our own family vacations for just the 3 of us… me, my hubby and son Gabriel to RELAX.
We desperately need quiet family time to relax, bond and just make memories. It’s been 3, maybe 4, years since we took time out for ourselves. I have a sense of guilt about this every day and feel part of my “go-go-go for everyone else” lead me to this point.
I’ll never forget the anger and tears when I was first admitted to Johns Hopkins. The range of emotions. One of the first things I said when to my husband when I was crying was “We are so worried about seeing everyone else because our parents are aging and we worry how much time we have with them and now look.. we never took time for ourselves and we don’t know how much time WE have together. I feel so ripped-off. What if i die and we never relaxed and enjoyed life together? When I am cured. Before we see anyone else.. we are taking time for ourselves to reconnect as a family and relax then we will share ourselves with others.”
Every day I look forward to that vacation we so badly need and deserve. We will treat ourselves first to a vacation alone then worry about everyone else. Finally, I’m learning it’s ok to put myself first once in a while.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I am not sure Gabriel is old enough to say I’ve taught him many lessons but I would say operating as a single parent while my husband and I commuted across the country during his first 23 months, I taught him hard work and dedication. It was hard work to juggle a high pressure TV anchor position and be a single mom. I did everything I could to make the situation seamless for him and keep him happy. Now I think GOD is teaching my son the word “adjustment.” With Gabriel spending most of the past 6 months in the care of either my mother or my sister in Atlanta, GA while I battle cancer, they are now teaching him life lessons. Both are former educators and doing a great job but the thought that I cannot be the mom Gabriel needs right now is painful and leaves guilt.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
My stress levels. I have to stop worrying so much loss and my fear of mortality and focus on the now.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
My accomplishments. At the age of 22, I was anchoring CNN Headline News after I was told there was no way I could ever start at a network. It was my first on-air job. Management saw my drive and potential and started to work with me. In my time at CNN I moved my way from intern to full-time fill in anchor in a matter of years. Not because of contacts or connections but because I was stubborn… would not accept no… set a goal and made it happen.
*When were you happiest?
4 happiest moments (haha I cannot pick just one)
In Costa Rica on vacation with Cesar 4 years ago (It’s the last time I relaxed.)
The day our IVF finally worked and we were expecting our baby boy!
The day I said I do to my husband, Cesar Aldama..he is my rock.
The day we welcomed Gabriel into our lives.
*What ten words best describe you?
Driven, compassionate, faithful, loving, strong, caretaker, loyal , fun, social butterfly, connector
Loriana Hernandez is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of on-air television experience, anchoring prime-time and morning news as well as reporting on a national and local level.
Loriana’s unique broadcasting talent has taken her across the country from CNN/CNN Headline News in Atlanta, to local news in California, followed by her most recent stops in Dallas and Austin, Texas. Hard news has always been Loriana’s primary post, however her most passionate assignments have centered on the transformational power of health, fitness and nutrition. Loriana has served as National Health Reporter for FOX News stations, and she was most recently recognized by Austin MD Magazine as a “Top 20 woman who has shaped the city’s health and wellness.”
In January 2014, Loriana was diagnosed with Leukemia days before a move to Washington, DC. to join her husband.
The cancer was detected by her fertility doctor who insisted on a precautionary blood test before a traditional embryo transfer. Instead of a new baby, Loriana got cancer. And she quickly learned she was dealing with AML, an aggressive and fast-moving variant.
Her journey has been an arduous test of strength and courage, with tear-inducing ups and downs along the way. Using social media as her tool, she has given tens of thousands of people a front-row seat to her daily trials and tribulations, describing in raw detail the routine challenges any cancer patient faces. Chock full of hope, setbacks, small victories and frequent heartache, Loriana’s posts have not only captured the hearts and minds of a growing digital audience, but given us all a glimpse into what cancer treatment is really like.
Woven into her daily diary is the inspiring message “Get Fit to Fight,” followed by her signature sign-off #ArmorUp. Loriana says her doctor constantly reminds her how important fitness is in the cancer fight; the more fit she is, the sooner she can get back to her son, her husband and a normal life. Every day the #ArmorUp campaign is gaining momentum, motivating others to improve their fitness should they ever face a challenge like Loriana’s. Whatever YOUR battle, Loriana hopes you join the ArmorUp Campaign.