A New Narrative: Rachel

February 20, 2024

Rachel's Journey

Cancer, not a word anyone ever wants to hear come out of their doctor’s mouth.  Or more likely, you see in the online chart before the doctor calls you or sees you.  That is a downside of the law allowing patients to see test results when the doctors receive them.  It is terrifying and begins a journey you never contemplated taking.

My journey started with a mammogram and the radiologist coming to speak to me.  He showed me the results and images.  The area of concern was 8cm long, from my chest wall out.  I had a biopsy not long after the mammogram.  The first biopsy came back inconclusive.  They tested the ends of the area.  Thankfully, I insisted on another biopsy of the middle of the area.  After waiting for insurance to agree, I had the second biopsy.  It came back as cancer.

Finding out that my biopsy had shown breast cancer was world changing.  My life changed in September 2022.  What are the next steps?  What does “Doctor Google” say as you frantically search every word in the report.  For me, my treatment seems like a whirlwind.  I was initially diagnosed with DCIS but my final diagnosis was infiltrating ductal carcinoma with lobular features, grade 2, and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), grade 3.  I had a double mastectomy with flat closure.  No radiation or chemo was needed, which was a blessing.  In November of 2023, I had a scar revision to clean up what the first plastic surgeon left sitting on my chest, or as I called it, my handlebar mustache.  Believe me, it looked like I had a handlebar mustache across my chest.  Not cool.  I love the revision and finally feel happy with how my chest looks.

One thing that you do not realize is the trauma that those diagnosed with cancer are experiencing and that it does not go away after treatment.  The fear of it returning is palpable.  Thankfully there are organizations like Here for the Girls and the help of the Brock Cancer Center.  Their services and support have allowed me to make it through this experience.  The “Boober” Sisterhood at Here for the Girls is strong and supportive.  We have all been through our own unique journey and are there for each other.

I am so thankful for the loved ones I have around me.  The support and love that they have given me since the diagnosis has saved me.  My advice for anyone facing breast cancer or any cancer is to be your own best advocate, surround yourself with support groups and create a community, and be brave enough to ask for help if you need help.  Cry, scream and throw a fit, eat a pint of ice cream, watch a movie, and do whatever you need to do to express your emotions and get through this terrible season of life.  You are strong and have a sisterhood waiting to help you through this.



Recent Post

© 2024 Here for the Girls, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity
EIN 26-0606190
1309 Jamestown Rd. Suite 204
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Contact us at info@hereforthegirls.org or at 757-645-2649

‌⁠If you are in a life-threatening situation, please do not use this website. Please use the list below for resources or call 911 to request crisis intervention, or other appropriate personnel, for immediate support. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 800-273-TALK (8255) Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741
cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram