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Fighting hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
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Heather, Tennessee

     

  Voices of Force

Age:

Having the knowledge to take action against cancer.

I'm more than my risk… some fun facts about myself:

Favorite book / authors:
Heaven is for real, or anything inspirational

Favorite TV / Movies:
Water for Elephants, The Notebook, comedies, etc.

Favorite Quote:
Be the change you wish to see in the world. Ghandi

Favorite Song:
Ain't No Mountain High

 

Add your Voice

If you'd like to add your own story to our Voices of FORCE pages, please complete our Voices of FORCE form.

My journey

While in 4th grade my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. I grew up fearful that one day I would meet the same fate. My mother battled many occurrances of cancer, until she passed away on my 13th birthday. Six years later doctors became concerned about my risks of ovarian cancer. Immediately, I set out on a journey to eliminate ovarian cancer. I made a rash decision to have a hysterectomy, prior to doing this my doctor required my mother's medical history. In getting her history, I discovered her final year was filled with breast and ovarian cancer. This new news required genetic testing before moving on with my surgery. At 20, I met the best genetic counselors and had my blood drawn and sent off in the first meeting. Of course I was slightly apprehensive, but in my heart I knew I had the gene. Within a month, I was called in for the results. Of course, I was BRCA 1 positive. Within 8 months I had a double masectomy, and hysterectomy.

The hardest part of my journey

Being so young when I had the double masectomy and hysterectomy has been challenging. I have had several corrective surgeries to improve the masectomy, and being menopausal presents its own challenges. However, each day I am thankful I have reduced my risks of getting cancer.

If I could do it over again

Given the circumstances of my life at the time, I did everything I could the best I could. Life is about moving forward, not looking back.

My participation with FORCE

I am working on becoming a coordinator for our area, so I may help young women feel confident about their decisions.

 


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