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Shelly, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


  Voices of Force

Age: 39


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My journey

Found out about BRCA1+ status less than 6 months ago. Tested because two sisters had BC. I have not had cancer. I have managed my risk with increased surveillance and will be having an OOPH/ hysterectomy and prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction with silicone implants.

The hardest part of my journey

The test results - did not have counseling offered to me.

If I could do it over again

Choose a different facility for testing.

My participation with FORCE

I come from a small town with not too many individuals to discuss my situation with. My family can only understand partially- FORCE has been a great comfort - a means to find someone that you can relate to. It is a way to ask questions, discuss issues, read others - find some answers - to know that you are not alone. It has been a tremendous help. I cannot stress that enough. FORCE is my hand holding tool.

FORCE is Awesome. I think many would be lost without it.

Other thoughts

I am married have to two children - they are my world. I have known I have been at high risk since I was a little girl. Having the genetic testing done was just confirming what I already knew - but now I could make those choices that I had to - I am reducing my risk and living my life. I have that chance to spend a long life with my family.

My two family members who have passed from bc -I have learned that life is too short. They are my inspiration - they have given me my courage and strength to face any challenges and to overcome any obstacles. Life is truly a gift, it is not to be taken for granted. That is why I look at finding out that I BRAC+ as a blessing - I have been given a chance to live my life and protect it.


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