The life changing words, “You have aggressive breast cancer,” were shared by a breast surgeon in July 2009. I started in a whirlwind of surgeries and treatment starting with a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Just when I was breathing a sigh of relief, my surgeon recommended that I meet with a geneticist.
After receiving the results from my BRCA test, the geneticist let me know that my journey wasn’t over but just beginning. I carried the BRCA1 gene mutation. I felt very overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do or what questions to ask. She shared information regarding FORCE with me. Two months later, I was attending my first FORCE conference.
I found FORCE to be a life saver! I now had a community that shared the same concerns as me. I was able to listen to experts and then later ask these experts questions to help guide me in my decision making process. This group shared so much information and was such a huge support that I have attended a number of their conferences. I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of this group.
During my 11-year affiliation with FORCE, I have watched this organization continue to grow and be responsive to its constituents. I so enjoy my volunteer roles as a Research Advocate and a Peer Navigator. I especially enjoy being able to help others who are new to hearing those scary words, “You have cancer.”