‘They’re my battle scars’: Fighting breast cancer tests toughness of 35-year-old Navy veteran

'They're my battle scars': Fighting breast cancer tests toughness of 35-year-old Navy veteran

stands in the newest addition of the St. Vincent Cancer Center where she spent 28 days getting radiation treatments. Carrie Hendrix-Rhodes has large scars on her chest from the double mastectomy she underwent in April. But the scars don’t bother her. Not at all. In fact, she likes them. “They’re like my battle scars, and I’m kind of proud of them,” Hendrix-Rhodes said. “I see them every morning as a reminder that nothing is really that bad. They tell me, ‘You really went through some stuff, and you’re going to be just fine.’ I look back at the pain I went through, and I realize I’m a lot tougher than I think I am.” And for Hendrix-Rhodes, that’s saying something. The 35-year-old Kokomo native served eight years in the Navy as a medical nurse before moving back to Indiana. She now works a pediatric nurse at Indiana Health Center in Kokomo. When Hendrix-Rhodes served in the military, being tough was part of the job. But that toughness was put to the test when she felt a large mass in her left breast while taking a shower last October. Hendrix-Rhodes said she knew the mass shouldn’t be there, but she never thought it was cancer. After all, she was young, healthy and had no family history of breast cancer. Still, as a nurse, she knew she should be proactive, so she decided to get a mammogram, just in case. “The whole time, I thought, ‘This is nothing. It’s benign,’” Hendrix-Rhodes said. “I really thought that. Even after the mammogram and biopsy, and I thought, ‘This is going to be nothing.’ I thought it was just an infected duct or something.” But her optimism was shattered in February when she sat down with her friend, who was also her practitioner, to […]

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