Nurse diagnosed with breast cancer helps patients battling the disease

Health and Medical

One local nurse is using her experience with cancer to help others navigate the road to recovery.

“As a patient, you are no longer a healthcare professional,” Barbara Rangel, a nurse at the Hospitals of Providence East, told KTSM.

Rangel found herself on the receiving end of the medical field after she was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2016.

“It’s a little bit more aggressive, a little higher chance of it reoccurring,” she said. “It’s devastating news. The hardest part though is having to tell the family.”

Although the diagnosis was tough, it didn’t keep Rangel away from the job she loves. During her journey to recovery, the nurse continued to go to work.

“In between my treatments, I was wanting to be back at work because to me, that was a very good healing portion because I felt if I could be at work, I was healthy,” she said.

At the hospital, Rangel spends time with other breast cancer patients and survivors, providing encouragement as they battle the disease.

“Chemo may take our hair, may take our eyebrows or eyelashes, but chemotherapy cannot take our faith,” she said. “It’s our faith that can carry us through this journey.”

These sessions not only helped Rangel’s recovery process, but also that of her patients.

“I’m very blessed that I have that opportunity to share my story,” she said. “They’re always willing to hear from someone who has gone through the same thing.”

Rangel says she’s still very thankful to be in this position.

“I’m very grateful for the doctors we have here and that I can continue working as a nurse and being able to help our patients who have to go through this unfortunate situation,” she said.

Rangel encourages residents to stay on top of their health by getting screened regularly.

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