In 2011, only eight months after having her annual mammogram, Rhonda noticed one of her cats was getting cozier with her.
The cat, a Siamese, had never done that before.
"(The Siamese cat) has never been a lap cat," Rhonda said. "All of the sudden, she started sitting on my lap."
Rhonda remembered something people told her when she was younger. Animals can sense sickness.
She immediately started checking her body and discovered a lump on one of her breasts.
"I had only had a mammogram eight months before," she said. "But I felt around and felt a knot."
She went to the doctor and was given the worst news of her life: She had breast cancer.
And it had already reached Stage 2.
"My doctor said cancer moves fast," Rhonda said. "It might not have been there at the time (of the mammogram)."
Rhonda grew up in Clay County. She now lives in Sullivan County, but she still has family in Brazil.
One of her daughters still lives in Clay County, as do her two sons. She also has a daughter who lives in West Terre Haute and another in Indianapolis.
In addition, she has two brothers and three sisters who live in Clay County and another sister who lives in Parke County. Breast cancer does not run in her family. And she, she instantly felt fear.
Rhonda was diagnosed in June 2011.
"I was scared," she said. "And you always ask yourself questions like, 'Why me?' I cried all the time."
Her physicians offered her three options. One, they said the breast could be removed. Or she could go through aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The third option was to do all three.
She chose the chemotherapy and radiation route and has gone through five months of chemotherapy and countless days of radiation.
For now, she said she is done with the treatment. However, she still has a port inside her body that is flushed out regularly.
"I talked to my doctor one week ago, and he said everything looked pretty good so far," Rhonda said.
While Rhonda has had a strong support group coming from family members, she said she feels like she should look into other forms of support.
"It really helps to talk to other people about it," she said. "And I've talked to lots and lots of people."
Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, Rhonda said her life has changed in many ways.
"I look forward to spending time with my family," she said. "And I try to make it a point to see my kids every weekend.
"I feel blessed. I feel like when you go through that, it makes you a stronger person and you appreciate things in life. You appreciate the most important things in life: Your family and friends. It feels like I have beaten it. It makes you stronger."
Rhonda will also be forever linked to the Siamese cat, an animal she has had for four years.