Raechel: BRCA1 positive and wanting to live for her daughter

Raechel is a 27 year old single mom to Amazing Abby (2 1/2 years old). She works as a Credentialing Coordinator @ Medestar Locum Tenens in Dallas, Texas.  She is a self described BRCA Warrior; a Thriving Spirit.

Written by Raechel Oliver

My name is Raechel, I am 27 years old and I am BRCA1 positive.

I learned about the gene when I was 14, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She beat it and it kept coming back.

They decided to do the testing on her, and sure enough she was BRCA1 positive. I grew up knowing about it in the back of my mind, believing I was positive as well, but always certain I would never have the tests done.

At 25 I became a mother to a little girl and it changed my thinking. I thought of watching my mother struggle with chemo and radiation and thought I wasn’t strong enough to go through that and be a single mother.

I did my testing through my OB November 2012.  I got the call 12/12/12 and before I even answered I had tears because I KNEW what my doctor on the other end was going to tell me. Of course she said those words “Raechel you do carry the gene” .

As much as my heart was breaking my mother told me you will never have to say the words “you are a cancer survivor”. I had many things going on in my life at the time of getting my test results so I pretty much pushed it in the back of my mind. I took the next step and spoke to my “team” of doctors. I had my first MRI and took the right steps to start my preventative care.

Once the things I had going on in my life settled I finally broke. It took 8 months from the positive result and I felt I was going crazy. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to be a mom, I didn’t want to go to work, or sometimes even shower. I thought I was going crazy. My boyfriend, family, and best friend didn’t know what to do or how to help me.

I then found Bright Pink. I found other girls in my area all in different parts of dealing with being BRCA positive as well. I learned I wasn’t going crazy; that everything I was feeling was normal. Feeling normal in an emotional breakdown was a very weird feeling. I am able to go out with girls who just “get it”. I can laugh through tears in not knowing which road to take.

I haven’t made my mind up as to when I will go ahead with my surgeries but I know that right now I have an amazing supportive boyfriend, family, friends, and now new friends with Bright Pink.

Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, while providing support for high-risk individuals.

Bright Pink has quickly become one of the country's fastest growing non-profit organizations, impacting and saving thousands of lives each day.

Through a range of dynamic programs and services, community outreach initiatives, and strategic partnerships, Bright Pink is creating a movement of brilliant, bold, and bright young women who are proactive advocates for their health. Visit their site at www.bright pink.org. 

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