Voices of FORCE

There are so many stories on FORCE and so many members willing to share their experiences. We hope these profiles can help you connect with our community and get advice from people like you!

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Ana, Scottsdale, Arizona

Quick Info About Me

  Voices of Force

Age: 34

My mom died when I was almost 15. She battled cancer for about 6 years. Ever since, I've known in my heart I was at high risk of developing bc.

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

Favorite book / authors:
Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

Favorite TV / Movies:
anything romatic. anything with horses

Favorite Quote:
you get what you give. Uno cosecha lo que siembra

Favorite Song:
no idea

Favorite Superhero:
not a fan of superheroes

Other favorites?
horseback riding
dancing salsa
eating and trying all kinds of weird foods

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My journey

Years ago, around 2010, my then boyfriend mentioned there is a genetic test that can be done to determine whether people are really at high risk. At the time i took it like a "good to know information that may be useful later." I did not run to the doc to figure out how I could get tested.
Then 2017 arrives, I have a newborn (6-7 months old) and I start thinking "what if I die? What if he loses his mom as early or sooner than I did mine?"
Fast forward a few weeks I made an appt with a PCP and specifically asked to be tested. She referred me to a genetic counselor. Fast forward a few more weeks and I got tested and the test was positive for BRCA2.
Honestly, the information did not totally surprise me because I had feared the worse all my audlt life anyway.

Now in my case, I got tested knowing what I wanted to do if it was positive. I had talked with my husband about it and we agreed that surgery was the best course of action, A prophylactic double mastectomy.

The genetic counsel did mention that mortality rate was no different between surgery and bi-annual exams (MRI and mammograms) but I couldn't imagine going through life fearing the next exam and fearing the next result. This is totally a personal choice and I felt surgery was for me.

My worse fear was not the surgery itself - but not being able to really care for my baby for at least 4 weeks. 2 days after surgery (seriously I'm writing 2 days after surgery) I realized that 1) children adapt quickly to situations if they are loved and hugged by someone 2) if you have a decent level of support from family and friends, you can totally do this 3) its like a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders because you are probably not going to die from bc, there is a slight chance but really - what are the chances you are that unlucky! 4) depends on each person but it is not as painful as you may think 5) if you live in Phoenix, AZ, choose Honor Health! 5) I'm HAPPY

I hope these positive words help anybody struggling with the decision. It is totally a personal thing but I'm happy with the path I chose and I hope you the reader are too!

The hardest part of my journey

thinking about my kid and how much he may suffer

If I could do it over again

NO! Dr. Molly Walsh, Dr. Brenda Moorthy and Honor Health. Will choose all 3 again and will choose surgery again.

My participation with FORCE

Didn't use force in the process. I felt confident enough and felt that joining a support group might make me feel worse, not better.

Other thoughts

No - good luck to everyone! Life is worth living despite the gene.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered