Voices of FORCE

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Barbara, Odessa, Texas

Quick Info About Me

  Voices of Force

Age: 46

I'm 46, and married for 26 years. I have 3 grown boys. My ethnic background is Ashkenazi Jewish, French, and German.

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

Favorite Quote:
Dance like no one is watching.

Other favorites?
My favorite song is Moonriver. I can still hear my father singing this song - it was his favorite. My father raised 5 children by himself once my mother died. We ranged in age from 9-15. We lost our father 5 years ago. He was my dad, my mom, my friend and in the end, my child. I miss him more than words can express.

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My journey

Found out about BRCA1+ status in December 2007. I was tested because of my family history; my mother died at 38 from breast cancer. Maternal grandmother had breast cancer at 38 and died from ovarian at 52. Maternal aunt had breast cancer at 38, ovarian at 42 and breast cancer again in her 50s. Sister diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2007. I have not had cancer. Had an OOPH/hysterectomy, and a double prophylactic mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction.

The hardest part of my journey

There really hasn't been a hardest part. I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to choose life. My mother never had that opportunity. I lost her to breast cancer when I was only 9 years old. So, perhaps that is the hardest part of my journey - growing up without her, getting married without her, having children without her.

If I could do it over again

There isn't anything that I would have done differently.

My participation with FORCE

I enjoy reading all of the information on the site. It is good to know that we are not alone in this.

Other thoughts

I am very positive about this experience. I recovered quickly from both the ooph/hysterectomy and the bilateral prophylactic mastectomies. I feel that I have been given an opportunity that my mother was never offered and I am so grateful for that.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered