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!

| More

Our Community
Toggle Menu

Deanna C., Liberty, South Carolina

Quick Info About Me


Age: 26

I'm 26 years old. Married for almost 8 years and have 2 sons, ages 5 and 3.

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

Favorite book / authors:
Any love story or mystery.

Favorite TV / Movies:
NCIS, Law and Order, CSI, the Young and the Restless

Favorite Song:
Sissy's Song by Alan Jackson (makes me think of my mother)

Add your Voice

If you'd like to add your own story to our Voices of FORCE pages, please complete our Voices of FORCE form.

My journey

I found out about BRCA1+ status April 2007. I tested because my great grandmother, grandmother at age 65, aunt at age 38, and cousin at age 29 passed away from breast cancer. My mother had it 4 times and passed away in May 2009. The cancer returned every 4 years and I lost her at age 57. My aunt also had ovarian cancer and my mother and uncle have had melanoma. I have not had cancer. I had managed my risk with increased surveillance until Feb. 2009. I had bilateral mastectomies with S-GAP reconstruction. I should have already had my phase 2 but I had to postpone it due to taking care of my mother. My surgery was in Feb. and we found out her cancer had returned that same month. I will have my phase 2 July 30. When I turn 35, I plan to have my ovaries removed. Until then, I will do close surveillance of them. I know my risk isn’t down to zero but it’s down to less than 3 percent and that is a huge load off my shoulders. Sure, I still worry and think about it, but I know I am doing all that I can and that’s the important thing. I can breathe easier because of it.

The hardest part of my journey

Losing family members to cancer. Especially losing my mother at such a young age. She loved my sons and spoiled them rotten. They will miss out on so much without their granny and I feel lost without her. I was able to have her by my side through my surgery and that meant a lot to me. She told me she was proud of me for doing such a big thing. It is such an emotional rollercoaster.

If I could do it over again

I wish the genetic testing had been around for my grandmother. I also wish my family had learned about it a long time ago and could have possibly spared my aunt, cousin, and mother from going through the fight with cancer. I am lucky to have learned about the genetic testing and been given the chance to live a longer life.

My participation with FORCE

Force has done a great thing bringing people together that need advice.
Anyone who would like to email me and talk about their experience or wants to know more about mine, please feel free: deanna_calhoun2002@yahoo.com

Other thoughts

I am blessed with two beautiful sons and a wonderful husband. Life is too precious to me to take any chances. I wanted to prevent the cancer and fight for my family's sake. They are my world and my strength and I know as long as I have them, I will fight and get through anything. I also have the courage of my mother with me. She fought for 11 years. I am thankful I was able to take my mother on a cruise before she passed away. She had always wanted to go on one and she had a great time. I have memories like that to cherish and hopefully, since I had my surgery, I will be able to give my sons lots of memories and one day, my grandkids as well.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered