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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Tania R, Wisconsin

Quick Info About Me

  Voices of Force

Age: 45

BC at age 43; Mastectomy with expander; BRCA2+; prophylactic mastectomy with bi-lateral lat flap. Finally prophylactic oophorectomy and hysterectomy;

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

Favorite book / authors:
Iris Johansen

Favorite Quote:
“I can't do all the good that the world needs, but the world needs all the good I can do.”

Favorite Song:
“You raise me up” by Josh Groban. I listened to it over and over again when I thought I could go no further. It always raised me up.

Other favorites?
My favorite pastimes:
Quilting, reading and scrapbooking.

My favorite vacation destination:
Any island where there is a white beach, lots of sunshine and good snorkeling.

My hope for the future:
A world where children can grow up without the fear of cancer.

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My journey

I was diagnosed with breast cancer May 31, 2006 and had surgery, chemo and radiation. I have only an aunt on my father's side that had breast cancer at age 62, so I wasn't considered high-risk. After a lot of discussion with my genetics counselor, I went ahead and got tested for the BRCA gene -- not only for me, but also for my family. I got the results back in April 2007 and tested positive for BRCA2. Because of that, I had a prophylactic mastectomy on the other side with lattissimus flap reconstruction on both sides. In December 2007, I had hysterectomy and oophorectomy and am currently on Aromasin.

The hardest part of my journey

Seeing the irreparable damage to my body due to the treatments and surgery. Realizing that I am not in control of my destiny. Losing my expander three months after surgery. Seeing myself in the mirror without a breast made it very real. We have to find a cure. Not just for me, but for my family and so many others who are touched by this devastating disease.

If I could do it over again

Worked less and rested more during treatment. Allowed others to help out more. Taken a little more time to look at all the options before starting down the path of treatment.

My participation with FORCE

I connected with a lot of wonderful ladies during Chat-a-thon 2008. It was so wonderful to be able to talk to others that have walked the same road. Some are ahead of me on the road and some behind. I hope that I can help somebody else along the way.

Other thoughts

I’m 45 years old and married to a wonderful husband who has been so supportive throughout the past two years. I’m also blessed with a very loving and compassionate son in his early teens. I have a brother who has not yet been tested and a sister who tested negative, both with small children.

What I’ve learned from cancer:
• Don’t draw eyebrows in a moving train.
• When standing in the wind with a wig on, make sure you have somebody ready to run and get it.
• Make sure your sweater zips open all the way. Pulling a sweater over your head tends to make you lose your wig.
• “Put a sock in it” also comes in handy when you forget your prosthesis or can’t wear it due to radiation.
• Peeing in different colors can be exciting.
• Never walk through airport security with a new prosthesis. Even though you may not think there is any metal in there, as luck would have it, there will be.

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.