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Moments That Matter: Darcey's Story

Darcey Gohring remembers the night in April 2020. “I was locked down at home with my husband and two teenage children. Hand washing and sanitizing on repeat. Nights filled with Zoom calls, puzzles, board games, and binging on Netflix,” she wrote in A Cancer Diagnosis Is Never Easy – But What If It Happens In the Middle of a Pandemic?

“And then one night, sitting on the couch watching a marathon of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Channel, everything changed. As I went to adjust my sports bra, my fingers grazed something, and I knew immediately what it was. A lump.”

At just 46 and without a family history of the disease, breast cancer wasn’t at the top of Darcey’s list of concerns. Besides, there was a pandemic going on. “Seemingly overnight, cases skyrocketed in the area,” she writes. “I worried about my husband and my daughter, who both have asthma. In my eyes, they were the vulnerable ones, not me. I was an avid runner, ate a healthy diet, and hadn’t been to the doctor for anything more than a sinus infection in decades.”

I didn’t think I was at risk.

Darcey G., Breast Cancer survivor

“I don't think I realized that women without a genetic history can get breast cancer,” she says. “I didn’t know about other things that can put you in a category where you might be more apt to get breast cancer. Like drinking wine. Or a high protein diet. I had absolutely no idea that they can increase your risk.”

Even without a pandemic, Darcey’s busy life led her to put off routine screenings. “I have two teenagers. They're 17 years old, they play a lot of sports, yada, yada. I was working a ton. commuting and getting home really late and I was like, I'll do it next month,” she recalls. “I think people are probably doing that right now. I’m good example of why you shouldn't do that. I was overdue for a mammogram, and never will be again.”
Now Darcey is telling her story, writing articles and talking to friends about the experience of a breast cancer in the middle of a pandemic. “I have a different perception now, so I’m sharing because I don't want anyone else to have to go through this.