Voices of FORCE

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Katie, Michigan

Quick Info About Me

  Voices of Force


Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer Patient with BRCA1

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

Favorite book / authors:
David Sedaris

Favorite TV / Movies:
Seinfeld and Arrested Development

Favorite Quote:
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size. But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lip

Favorite Song:
Too many :)

Favorite Superhero:
My husband

Other favorites?
Lowbrow art, being outside, traveling, getting to see as much as possible and laughing and playing with my family.

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My journey

A few days after my daughter's second birthday, I was lying down and put my hand on my chest to see how off to the side, pancakey my boobs have become. When I placed my hand toward the inside of my left breast, I felt a large, hard lump. I immediately felt the other side and felt nothing. In that moment, millions of thoughts ran through my head that all came to the one fast question, "Is this cancer?"

It was. I'm 32, am married to my soulmate and we have the most precious baby girl I could have ever asked for. We moved to Michigan in May of this year (2014) from California. I found the lump at the beginning of August and after finding the perfect doctors, I am currently going through pre-op chemo in which I just started last week, 9/17. After four and a half to five months of chemo, I will be getting a bilateral mastectomy. Having radiation at this point is unknown. One step at a time.

I just found out today that I do in fact carry BRCA1. It comes from my dad's side of the family. His mom (my grandma) and all of her sisters have the gene. One of her sisters just passed away a couple of weeks ago. My dad has three sisters and a brother who were all tested for the gene and they tested negative. My dad, however, was the only one of his siblings who was not tested. He is in the process of that right now as well as my two younger sisters. My mom will be getting tested as well, although it does not run on her side of the family.. as far as we know. I will be having my ovaries removed as soon as I can.

The hardest part of my journey

The suddenness and confusion. No one is ever ready to have cancer - but this really threw me off guard. The ability to keep a smile on my face and to tell myself that I will be a survivor. The absolute hardest thing in all of this - knowing that my daughter has a 50 percent chance of having BRCA1.

Other thoughts

I hope to find support and comfort within this network

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered