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Bethanie, Columbia , SC


  Voices of Force

Age: 41

Found out I was BRCA 2 positive December, 2009. Currently planning on DM with reconstruction in Charleston.


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My journey

I am a single mom of 3 teenagers. I was adopted and met my birth mother at age 22. She told me there was a strong family history of Breast Cancer in the family. She died 8 years later. My maternal GM, maternal great grandmother, and several maternal great aunts and cousins had been diagnosed in their 40's or 50's. I was not around to see their struggle with breast cancer. Since age 22 when I found my biological mom I have been able to report to MD's that I have a strong family history, but not much more.

It wasn't til this past year when I moved to Columbia, SC that several doctor's recommend I get tested. I didn't realize what I was doing when I finally went and when I found out I was positive I was not prepared. It was really easy to tell the genetics counselor prior to testing that "yea sure I would have my breast cut off if I was at risk." But now it so much more real to me.
Being single I worry how this will affect future romantic relationships. But I want to live to see my children's children and be there for them. My surgery is scheduled in June. I need to lose 20 lbs to reduce my health risk. I am hoping that by taking this big step I will also do all the other things in life to live longer like eat right, exercise and eliminate toxins being put in my body.
I am scared.

The hardest part of my journey

Right now it's the people around me that don't understand why I would cut off two perfectly good breasts. They are like, "Yea, but you don't have cancer, yet, right?"m "that would be like getting a heart transplant just because my family has a history of heart disease.

If I could do it over again

I am not there yet.

My participation with FORCE

I am currently looking for support and networking. This is only 3 months in for me.


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