Buddy Check 16 — hormones and breast cancer

Local News

JOPLIN, Mo. — One woman’s attitude keeps shining, despite a cancer diagnosis that completely changed so many things in her life.

Rachele Davis, Breast Cancer Patient, said, “I felt two different lumps.”

Rachele Davis just knew it when she felt something off in May of 2019.

“As soon as I felt it, the next day I told my husband I had breast cancer.”

She laughs about it now, but doctors soon confirmed she was right.

“It was a shock. It really was a shock. You know, I was only 39, I didn’t have any history in my family, so it wasn’t something that was in the back of my mind like this could happen.”

Dr. Matthew Miller, D.O., Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute Director, said, “What was unusual about her case was that she was quite young when she was diagnosed and she had multiple malignancies within the affected breast.”

Rachele and her doctors went to work right away. 16 rounds of chemotherapy over 20 weeks, from Summer to Thanksgiving of last year. Then, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery two days before Christmas.

“The decision to give chemotherapy whether it’s before or after surgery is a conversation that we have a lot of times with the surgeon. If we give chemotherapy prior to surgery, we’re kind of looking for response. Sometimes you need to see the response so they can have a better surgical outcome.”

And, since estrogen was contributing to her cancer, Rachele had a full hysterectomy in May of this year.

“I’m going to move forward, I can get through this. Plenty of women get through this. I’m going to be one of them,” said Davis.

Rachele admits it’s a whirlwind when you first get diagnosed because there’s a whole team of medical professionals getting you through treatment.

“We work with each other so it’s kind of like a triangle, between the surgeon, medical oncologist, and radiation. Sometimes one of us is needed, like the surgeon, and sometimes all three are needed,” said Miller.

“I had a – I get emotional, because I had a wonderful experience. Sorry,” said Davis.

“Everybody here was just wonderful, from the get go, from my oncologist who was very patient and answered a lot of my questions.”

To the nurses and volunteers who eased her through the whole process.

“You get to know those people that you see every week. And, not that I was not grateful to be finished with it, but it was sad because I knew I wasn’t going to see everybody every week like I was used to doing and we had really forged some great friendships.”

Rachele is now on a hormone blocking pill for the next five years — but overall — she credits her faith and an amazing support network for getting her through it all.

“I’m doing great. I’m healthy. I’ve got some side effects from the medicine that I’m taking, and I’ve got a few kind of long term side effects from the chemo, but it’s better than the alternative.”

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