Voices of FORCE

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Mary Elizabeth Perez-Vasquez (Lisa), Deltona, Florida

Quick Info About Me

  Voices of Force

Age: 46

Taking the correct steps to have a life to live my which is My Journey.

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

Other favorites?
My Daughter Jonneaa, My Sister Evelyn, My Brother Benny, My Aunt Mary, My Cousin Julia, My Cousin Kenya, My Cousin Ruth, My Cousin Maria (Laly), My Cousin Maria (Tita), and so many others that have had differrent types of Cancer. My very good friend Virgen who is battling Breast Cancer right now.

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My journey

I am a 46 year old Puerto Rican Woman that after loosing my Sister Evelyn after an 11 year battle with what started out as Breast Cancer I decided to get tested and I tested BRCA1 positive which is exactly what my Sister was. When my PCP referred me to my Breast Specialist Dr. Shenin Sachedina in Winter Park, FL, I never thought I could get such care and comfort from a Physician. After having mammograms done year after year since I was 33 I never thought I would have to worry about Breast Cancer. Dr Sachedina found a lump in my breast which were very dense, and i was sent for an MRI, then had a Biopsy done and that came out negative. I then was referred to MD Anderson in Orlando once I informed of the large Family History of Cancer on both Mom & Dad's sides. I was given a packet to fill out and had to add pages to be able to include all family history. My Sister faxed over her genetic test results to Ryan the Counselor at MD Anderson. I had my blood drawn and within a matter of time my results were in and I had to meet with Ryan to go over mu results and my options. My Husband was very supportive and we decided lets take care of this before it tries to take care of me. I then met back with Dr Sachedina and we opted for the Prophylactic Mastectomy & Reconstruction July of 2009 and had my implants & nipple reconstruction completed by October 2009. I had my Hysterectomy done August of 2010. I must admit that all of the medical staff I dealt with during this time was the most amazing warm, caring and I am greatful for everything God placed in my path! My youngest daughter came and helped my Husband take care of me for the 1st 3 weeks of my procedure. The best was having my 2 grandsons ask Grandma if she was ok and if they could get anything for me.

The hardest part of my journey

I would say the hardest is wishing that my Sister could have all the info she passed on to her siblings that helped save me and could have saved her if only she would have known before the Cancer hit. Also, trying to get the other siblings to test and be proactive as I was and my Sister wanted them to be!

If I could do it over again

I would not have procrastinated the way that I did but Thank The Almighty God, I was able to take care of everything I needed to.

My participation with FORCE

I didn't know FORCE existed until I attended a Breast Cancer Support Group with a friend of mine who has Breast Cancer.

Other thoughts

I try to inform everyone that I can what I have learned in my Journey with being BRCA1 positive and I want to be sure they take advantage of the medical technology and be proactive, don't wait till it's too late.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered