Laurie Searle, Atlanta, GA
10 year BC survivor. Tested positive for BRAC2 Jan-2013. Had Ooph in Mar-2013; Preventative bilateral mastectomy with S-gap reconstruction Jul-2013
I'm more than my risk… some fun facts about myself:
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In 2003 I felt a lump in my left breast. A mammogram did not detect the lump so my surgeon decided to go in for a closer. Good thing he did. I had stage 1 breast cancer in my left breast, which was treated with a lumpectomy, chemotherapy (6 cycles @ 3 week intervals), and radiation (daily for 6 weeks).
The hardest part of my journey
The hardest part of my journey was making the decision to have the preventative mastectomy and then deciding which type of reconstruction to have. At first I considered breast implants, but I wasn’t an ideal candidate since my left breast had been radiated. Then I considered flap reconstruction, but there wasn’t enough tissue from my tummy so my butt would be the donor site (called S-Gap flap). Once I finally decided on S-Gap flap, my mind was at ease.
If I could do it over again
I would have had the preventative surgery much, much earlier if I had known about BRCA testing 10 years ago. I’m really surprised that my breast cancer surgeon never discussed it, and that it wasn’t mentioned throughout my 10 years of diagnostic mammograms.
My participation with FORCE
Being a part of the FORCE community put me in touch with other ladies who had traveled on similar journeys. Through that contact, I was able to make informed decisions based on the experience with others, as well as research and consultations with my doctors. To give back to others in the community I started a blog to write about my journey: www.mybrca2journey.com
I have had so many blessings throughout my journey. My husband has been my nurse, caretaker, and friend, and I love him more everyday for being my life partner.
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