Voices of FORCE

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PaulaK, Medon, Tennessee

Quick Info About Me


Age: 33

I'm Brac1 positive with a strong family history of both Ovarian and Breast cancer. I am currently choosing surveillance at this time.

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

Favorite book / authors:

Favorite TV / Movies:
Hallmark Channel

Favorite Quote:
I am Beautiful just the way i am

Favorite Song:
Amazing Grace

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My journey

I am 33, married to an amazing man, Adam for 13 years, we have three daughters and one son. I have one sister Robin, 26. She hasn't been tested yet but does follow a high risk screening the same as me until testing shows otherwise. She has made the decision to wait to test. I am Italian on my mother's side and American Indian and English on my dad's side. My mutation came from my dad's side of the family. I found out my test results in 2009. I lost 3 aunts all sisters before age of 40. And their daughters diagnosed with Breast cancer in their 20s and 30s. Many other female relatives are Breast Cancer Survivors. I grew up being in fear of this as i approached adult hood, that it was a curse on the women in my family. Bad blood as the family calls it. Until one of my uncles went to discuss this with a Genetic counselor and learned of the Brca Genetic mutation. He tested positive, and a cousin tested positive for the same mutation, after her Breast cancer diagnosis at 31. Then numerous family members began to get genetic counseling and some chose testing. I have not decided yet on breast preventative surgery options yet i'm still unsure. I have been following a high risk surveillance schedule with my doctors. I had my first scare in 2009 and went through biopsy and the waiting. I learned i had Hyperplasia and a benign finding. All screenings to date have been okay. I still get nervous and worry with each visit. I have decided to have my ooph/hysterectomy at age 35. which is recomended by my gynoncologist for my family history. I am a previvor!

The hardest part of my journey

Not Knowing if my children, especially my 3 daughters have inherited this mutation from me was the hardest part so far for me. I went in shock initially with the results when that reality set in. Emotionally during my journey i found myself at odds with some family members which was hard too. It is hard to still explain this all to those who don't get it. I have found giving them the information and stepping back a while is best. I made my own decisions and my own choices. I was very lost in the beginning too overwelmed. I am greatful I found Force. I no longer feel alone.

My participation with FORCE

I am very Thankful for all that Force has done for me. I no longer feel alone and overwhelmed. I find all my answers here at Force, on the help line and especially at the conference. I was so overwhelmed before I found Force. Everyone understands my feelings, my fear, my concerns, and are available to listen. I was very greatful I was able to attend the conference. The most rewarding experience for me was i was able to learn so much information to bring home to Tennessee and share with my family and friends.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered