Voices of FORCE

There are so many stories on FORCE and so many members willing to share their experiences. We hope these profiles can help you connect with our community and get advice from people like you!

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Lori Cleary, Lake Clarke Shores, Florida

Quick Info About Me

 

Age: 33

Knowing how much my family and friends really support and love me.

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

Favorite TV / Movies:
Sex in the City

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My journey

My name is Lori and I tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene last year. I decided to take the test because my family has a strong history of breast cancer. My sister was diagnosed last year for breast cancer and is now in remission and my mom is a six year breast cancer survivor. My grandmother, most aunts and some second and third cousins have had cancer as well. I have a family, my husband and my sweet baby girl Olive and I needed to make the right decision, so I chose on March 22, 2013 to get a prophylactic double mascetomy with reconstructive surgery. I'm now 7 weeks post op and I still have pain, but its tolerable. I've been going to my Dr.'s almost weekly now for post op check up and they both agreed that I'm am doing great! There are times when I just cry my eyes out because I just want to feel normal and want the pain to stop . My mother tells me this is the new normal. You will feel better and after a year they will feel more like real breasts. I want to tell everyone that has been behind my back thank you so much!!!! My husband Nicolas has been my rock and has been so supporting and so helpful during this difficult time. My daughter Olive, mommy will be able to pick you up soon. I know it's been so long since I grabbed and lifted you way high up in the air and I can't wait until I'm 100% better to do that. I love my life so I took this journey to keep me here as long as possible and to kick cancers ass because its not coming around to me!

The hardest part of my journey

The pain! I won't lie waking up after my surgery I was all out of whack. But the next day came and I felt like I was going to die. Getting up and walking was difficult. Coming home after two days in the hospital and not being able to do anything! I felt helpless. I knew I had the support from everyone, but I hate asking for it. My girlfriend Ashley stayed with me for the first two weeks while my husband worked. She cleaned me from head to toe and I was very thankful, even though at times I was embarrassed because what friend wipes your ass when you can't or shoving suppositories up there. Sorry too much information :) The pain pills help, but you don't want to depend in them as I'm weening off now. I know this pain will come to an end soon and as soon as it does I'm picking up my babe!!!!

If I could do it over again

Absolutely not! I had many consultations with plastic and breast surgeons and some were horrific, some were okay and then I found the one!! Dr. Rimmer and Dr. Lickstein are the A Team!!! I'm so lucky to have found them and will forever be thankful that they ultimately saved my life!

My participation with FORCE

Just telling my story and sharing anything I know helps me to my road to recovery. If anyone needs advice I would love to talk.

Other thoughts

If you are at high risk and want to take care of your life, talk to a genetic counselor and get tested to see if you are negative or positive for the BRCA gene.

Connect with others.

Our Chat Room

Our chat room allows you to communicate in real-time with others who have faced similar challenges. Check our chat room schedule to find out which weekly chat is right for you. Or, visit our Message Boards.

Join a Local Group

FORCE has outreach groups throughout the United States and in Essex, United Kingdom that meet periodically to offer peer support, and share resources.