SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (CA-80) will leave Sacramento Thursday evening. She will be back in San Diego for the next several months to undergo cancer surgery.
Banners and pink balloons donned Gonzalez's office in Sacramento Thursday.
"Next week is a milestone birthday. I'm turning 50!" Gonzalez said.
But in her final days of being in her 40's, Gonzalez is facing a life-changing surgery.
"They discovered that yes, I have two spots with cancer in my right breast," Gonzalez said.
She is leaving Sacramento a day early to get a double mastectomy on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
"We will remove all the tissue and all the cancer, and depending on what they find will determine whether I need to do radiation and chemotherapy," Gonzalez said.
On Twitter last month, Gonzalez announced her diagnosis - Stage Zero breast cancer, detected very early. But her experience with the disease dates back decades.
"My mother got diagnosed with breast cancer at age 44. She, unfortunately, passed at age 62. It spread throughout her body," Gonzalez said.
Because of this, since age 35, Gonzalez said she never missed an annual mammogram. But with the chaos of the pandemic, she admitted she nearly forgot this year.
Thursday morning, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN.) shared her battle with breast cancer with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts.
"Routine mammogram. Something I put off during the pandemic like so many others, and I found out that I had cancer," Klobuchar said.
It was Stage 1. But since her lumpectomy and radiation, Klobuchar said she is now cancer-free. Her story gave Gonzalez the courage to move forward with her upcoming surgery.
"That kind of provides some hope as well. It takes away a little bit of fear," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said naturally, she is anxious and scared. But she is also hopeful. She said this experience has inspired her to take on more healthcare issues when she returns to Legislative Session in January.
"It's kind of motivated me to take on a new fight," Gonzalez said. "Most of all, I want people to get screened and not to be afraid because catching it early is what it's about."
Gonzalez said she hopes to celebrate her 50th birthday next Thursday at home as a cancer survivor, and she is looking forward to her road to recovery.