Meet Rachel Ford

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Q: Where do you live? 

Q: How old were you when you were diagnosed with breast cancer? 
A: 37

Q: What was/is your diagnosis? 

Q: Can you describe some of the feelings that came with your diagnosis? 
A: The initial feeling was a total shock. I knew I had IBC before I had a confirmed diagnosis but it still came as a complete shock. You wonder, why you? Was there something you could have done differently, more of or less of? Of course, there is a fear of treatment and death. All of these questions at a time of feeling completely swept up by your diagnosis.

Q: Are you still in treatment? Or how long did treatment take? 
A: I am currently on an Aromatase Inhibitor, Zometa infusions, & regular follow-ups. My main treatment took 18 months.

Q: What type of treatment did you go through? 
A: I did chemotherapy/targeted therapy – 6 rounds TCHP, left radical mastectomy with all lymph nodes removed on left side, radiation & additional chemo/targeted therapy – 30 rounds of radiation with a bolus, Kadcyla 14 rounds

Q: Tell us how you felt during treatment. In real words. 
A: While I was completely thankful for treatment it was so hard. There were times when I felt like it would never end. There were times when I felt like I was being tortured alive. There were a lot of little silver linings along the way too, cancer taught me a lot about myself.

Q: Did you have any cravings? 
A: Pellet Ice (like the kind you get a Sonic)

Q: Did anything completely turn you off? 
A: A lot of things turned me off and took a long time for me to enjoy again. For a while, a lot of things either tasted like vegetable oil or blood. I could no longer drink coffee for a long time too. I remember feeling like I would take a double dip of many of the other side effect just to not have the ones associated with food.

Q: Describe your support system during your journey. 
A: I had a lot of support mentally during treatment. My family and friends were very supportive. I was diagnosed in November of 2020, so this meant that support groups were not open for anything in person. I found support online during this time through various groups on social media and from total strangers in the same situation.

Q: Have any of your relationships changed since experiencing breast cancer? 
A: Yes, many of my relationships changed since experiencing breast cancer. Some of my relationships are much more meaningful, some strained, and some have completely fallen away.

Q: Have you gained new friends since your diagnosis? 
A: Absolutely!

Q: Use some descriptive words to describe your breast cancer experience. 
A: Ardouous, Tiring, Complex, Complicated, Overwhelming

Q: How has your life changed for the better since your diagnosis? 
A: I have a better relationship with myself. Cancer forces you to slow down and examine things. Because I have a better relationship with self, many other things in my life have changed too. Sometimes it does not appear to have been a change for the better until you have watched it evolve into that over time. Cancer has given me a ton of perspective.


5445 S. Highland Drive
Suite 5
Salt Lake City, UT 84117


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