Voices of FORCE

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Michelle, Southaven, MS

Quick Info About Me


Age: 27

I haven't been tested for BRCA yet, but I have another gene mutation that labels me high risk and a family history. I'm getting my PBM in spring '11.

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

Favorite book / authors:
I love Mary Higgins Clark, Sophie Kinsella, and Janet Evanovich

Favorite TV / Movies:
Steel Magnolias by far is my favorite movie. I love watching Dexter, 90210, and the Walking Dead. And nothing beats I Love Lucy reruns

Favorite Quote:
"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death"

Favorite Song:
WAAYY too many. I love Carrie Underwood the most right now

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My journey

Hi! I'm Michelle and I'm 27 in Southaven, MS. I work at a local furniture store and am in my second year of nursing school.I'm not married, but been dating my boyfriend for 7 years. We have three dogs, which are my babies :)I am the oldest of four girls, and we are all pretty close in age.(my poor father!)

I've had many different surgeries, for various benign tumors. I also have had thyroid cancer (when I was 8). I have a genetic mutation called Cowden's Syndrome, which is in the P 10 gene (the tumor suppressor gene). I've had a total of 12 surgeries, 4 pf which were for a benign brain tumor.

I have had a history of fibroadenomas since I was 13. We didn't think anything about it until I was diagnosed with Cowden's syndrome at age 19. (Cowden's puts you as high risk for BC). Last year, they found atypical cells in a core biopsy. I had an excissional biopsy which came back clean. I've recently completed that cycle again. I've told my doctor that I want to go ahead with the PBMin April of 2011 (I'll have about a 4 1/2 month break from school then).

I'm adopted, but I recently found out that my biological mother has breast cancer, which ups my risk a little more. The two abnormal core biopsies that I've had also contributes to raising my risk.

I feel like this decision is the best decision I could make. I've learned so much from this website, and each and every story is an inspiration. I hope that when this is all over, I can help and inspire people the way people on this site have helped and inspired me!

The hardest part of my journey

I think that knowing my breasts' days are numbered is hard. I've always been a bigger chested girl, and I developed earlier than most. I feel like I've been defined by my breasts for so long that I'll be losing a piece of myself, not just physically.

If I could do it over again

I would have gone with a PBM last year. I feel like this year, going through the surveillance, biopsy, and surgery was just an excerise in futility.

My participation with FORCE

Yes, reading other's stories and especially the book Previvors, has helped me to realize that others like me DO exist.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered