Spotlight: Raafiah Webb
My journey with breast cancer began sometime in late February or early March of 2020. I was lying in bed trying to find something to watch on tv before going to sleep. As I was trying to find a comfortable spot, I so happened to touch my breast and that is when I felt a hard lump. The lump felt hard, and it hurt when I touched it. As I continued to feel it, I wondered how long it had been there. The next day, I went to work and discussed my lump with my coworker and Starbucks buddy who is a breast cancer survivor. She told me if the lump hurts that most likely it wasn’t cancer, but she advised me to get it checked out. I made a doctor’s appointment that day.
On Monday, March 9, 2020, I went for a mammogram. A week later I was told that I had to get a biopsy. I kept calling places to schedule the biopsy however this was the height of coronavirus and businesses and schools were starting to close down. I remember driving home from the market on April 9, 2020, when I received the dreaded phone call informing me that my biopsy results came back positive for cancer. I was in shock and disbelief. I was an active woman with two beautiful children, worked one full time job, a part time job and was a part time college student. I had gotten married six months before my diagnosis. All I could think about was who is going to take care of my children and my new husband if something was to happen to me.
Having cancer and going through chemotherapy during COVID was beyond difficult! I know women who have had gone through cancer treatment and they were able to have family and friends accompany them….I wasn’t afforded that luxury. I had to go to every doctor’s appointment and every chemo session ALONE. It was the scariest time of my life. But as the saying goes “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. I am the definition of that saying. I worked (virtually) every day up until the day I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery. I found the strength to complete the last two classes I needed to graduate. I graduated Rutgers in May of 2020. And, most importantly I found myself!
I would like to share a piece I wrote about breast cancer.
Pink ribbons are cute, they are soft and oftentimes made of silk. When let loose, they fall ever so gently to the ground. Pink ribbons represent sisterhood and hope! Pink ribbons can also be frightful. They represent the demise of the two most important possessions that nourish babies and give them strength. Pink ribbons are cute until the pink ribbon represents you. Don’t look at pink ribbon and breast cancer as a death sentence, look at it as a rebirth…a time to live your best life while you are here. While being diagnosed with breast cancer is rough, wear your pink ribbon with pride.