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Rachel Terrell


Introduction

My name is Rachel and my story is more like my glory. I am the mother of two beautiful children, Jawaun 19 and Jayda 9. I am a single parent and a breast cancer survivor. My life has been pretty normal if you would like to say. I was just getting my life on track after 12 year relationship that ended in divorce. Feeling as if my life was finally coming together, I had adjusted to being a single mom.

Diagnoses and Treatment

One Sunday morning while getting ready for church I was in the shower I felt a lump on my left breast. My first thought was cancer which runs in my family…and breast cancer at that. I tried to make it seem like it was all in my head. The next day I went to work and shared my experience with my coworkers, they prompted me to go to the doctor. I immediately scheduled an appointment and went to the doctor the same day. The doctor said it felt like a cyst and scheduled an appointment for a breast checkup. Words cannot express how happy I was. I arrived to the checkup accompanied by my mother and friends. I go in the back and it’s a totally different person from the first doctor. I was told to come back for a biopsy and my heart just stopped. The nurse was like it doesn’t look good.

August 11th at 12:45, I’m at work and received the call….one I will never forget. The doctor said, “Ms. Terrell its cancer”. I broke down at work, my coworkers surrounded me and I felt like my life had just ended. All I could think about is my children….Who is going to take of my kids? I never said why me, but I just knew this was the end. Everything was going through my mind, I couldn’t think straight. How am I going to tell my children and family? What stage is it in? Everything was bothering me but through prayer and support of my family and friends it made the journey a little more bearable. I had numerous CT scans, MRI’s and biopsy’s’. I had the BRCA test and it reflected that I did, in fact, have the gene. I made the decision to get the bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.

On September 19, 2014 I had a 9 hour surgery and it showed that I had a 2.2 cm mass which put me at a stage two, no lymph nodes were cancerous. In my mind I’m thinking chemo is not anything harsh that will take my hair out. You hear so many horribly side effects of chemotherapy, how it will make you sick and of course take all your hair out. I go to my cancer doctor which was the and was hoping no chemo and to my luck I still have to start chemotherapy and yes I got the treatment that would most likely make me sick and take all my hair. I had to do four rounds chemotherapy, after my surgery September 19th 2014; I would go every 3 weeks to do the hard treatment and 12 treatment of the light treatment. Knowing something going into my body to kill all cells not just cancer cells but everything was too scary for me however; I never let me being sick stop me from living my life. Every time I would start feeling a little better it was time to go back and get another dose of chemo. At this time my hair was gone, my moods where changing and I was ready to give up but just looking at my children and how they supported me made me fight harder and to know that the Lord was on my side and didn’t let me die was good enough for me. April 1st 2015 I was through with my chemo!!!!!!!!!! Now you think I was thru NO… I had to travel to Baylor cancer center to have another surgery so I didn’t get ovarian cancer and then I had to get reconstruction surgery nevertheless, I did not complain because I am still alive.

Life as a Breast Cancer Survivor


They say your body really never recovers from the chemo after all the surgeries and the poking however; I was and is still able to go on day to day with the help of God. I still have my days where my body feels tired but I think of the goodness and blessings that our God and savior is still providing me with and I rejoice. I honestly feel like this was a test of my faith. We all have a story and everyone’s story is different but our God is the same!


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