Voices of FORCE

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Laura B, Meridian, Idaho

Quick Info About Me

  Voices of Force

Age: 33

I was diagnosed BRCA-1+ 3 months ago. Three weeks ago I under went a PBL Mastectomy...the most empowering thing I have ever done for myself...

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

Favorite book / authors:
Pretty is What Changes by Jessica Queller

Favorite Superhero:
My Aunts :)

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My journey

My journey started in November 2009. My maternal aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and then a few months later, ovarian cancer. With urging from a nurse while recovering from her hysterectomy, she underwent genetic testing. When she came back BRCA-1+, our family jumped into action. My other aunt (there are 4 sisters) also tested BRCA+. Since my mother passed away 5 years ago (from a car accident), I decided that it only seemed responsible that I also be tested. When my results came back positive, I felt like my head was spinning! Three of the four sisters (we are currently unsure of the status of the fourth sister) are/were BRCA+. And so far, we were 3 for 3. Thankfully, our luck changed when two for my (female) cousins came back negative. When my other aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer (after a clean mammogram, but an MRI found a 2mm tumor within months afterward) in April, I was convinced that it was time to make some big decisions. I immediately started interviewing surgeons and had a PBM three weeks ago. I am in the throes of recovery and reconstruction...and every minute of it brings me relief that I can focus on my children and my family's future. Currently, my aunt battling breast and ovarian cancer is winning the battle. My other aunt also had a double mastectomy and hysterectomy and is healthy...I am so grateful for the strong women in my family and the support that we bring each other.

The hardest part of my journey

I think that the hardest part, is that while I was able to take control of the situation in regards to my breasts, I have to wait to remove my ovaries. It is the screenings every 6 months, knowing that they screeing process is not terribly effective.

If I could do it over again

No...I have been very confindent in my decision making, though some people think it has been drastic.

My participation with FORCE

Its nice to be among others, struggling with simular situations.

Other thoughts

I recently read, Pretty is What Changes, by Jessica Queller. It is a MUST read for any one going though being BRCA+.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered