Former Miss New Hampshire blogs about breast cancer fight
AUBURN - Meet Miss New Hampshire 1992, Rachel Dowd. She's always been confident, poised and well-spoken. The year she won the crown, she performed "Love is where you find it," and now she's taken her talent and voice to another stage - as an advocate for breast cancer patients.
"It's like a sisterly bond once you meet other women going through the same thing," said Dowd. "I think we need each other; we need to talk, need to share."
Rachel was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2014 after she found her first lump while sliding into a dress to attend a pageant. After her mastectomy she went through chemotherapy treatments only to find another cancerous lump in the scar tissue.
"Your life has changed forever because you're always going to be looking over your shoulder. Any time you have any symptoms,'Oh what's that?'" she said.
Rachel is a mother of three, and her children admire her incredibly positive attitude after the weakening effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
"Her ability to get through it without breaking down and quitting," said her son David. "I always tell her,'You know, mom, you could just stop right now,' but she's always wiling to do that extra treatment."
She writes a blog http://rachelshealing.weebly.com/ describing each step of her journey including uncomfortable details and images. She shares her extensive research, explaining integrative care, dieting and supplements. It's a one-stop shop that's helped thousands of women battling the same disease.
"It's hard enough just focusing on your health but the insurance issue, health care system- navigating though all that...can be overwhelming," said Dowd.
Rachel continues to shine and inspire through her own pain. She is almost finished her second round of chemotherapy as she fights with her signature smile.