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!
I'm 45, and married with two kids, Sam, 19 and Sarah, 17. I am BRCA1 and BRCA2 positive.
I'm more than my risk… some fun facts about myself:
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Found out about BRCA1+, BRCA2+ status more than 2 years ago. I was tested because I had breast cancer at 39; then 15 months later ovarian. I have had breast and ovarian cancer. Pancreatic cancer also runs in my family. I have managed my risk with increased surveillance, an OOPH/ hysterectomy and a prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction - expanders, replaced by silicone implants. Also surgi-mend was used repair adhesions and scar tissue that had to be removed.
In January 2009, a reoccurrence of the ovarian cancer was found. A tumor formed in a lymph node and it wrapped itself around my large colon. Seven inches of my colon along with the tumor was removed. I chose not to take chemo against my doctor’s recommendations. I wanted to be monitored with CT scans and blood tests for tumor markers. In May, another mass was found in the adenexal space of my right ovary. So chemo is back in my life. I am a cancer warrior, not just a survivor.
Getting to the ages when my mother and brother died. Mike at 29 - passed that mile marker and Mom at 48 - waiting for that one to pass.
To not feel that I have to be strong all the time, and trying not to be scared. The world sees me as a strong, positive person. Little do they know that inside I am a quivering little girl who misses her Mother.
Knowing that there are other people like me. Well, kinda. I am BRCA1 and BRCA2 positive -- receiving one mutation from each parent. As my genetic counselor says, "you're just specialer."
Wife, mother, teacher, KNITTER, then...cancer survivor.
Is there anyone else out there like me -- with two mutations? And almost five years after the first diagnosis, why am I still scared?