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Bethany’s Story

March 18, 2009, my life was changed forever when Tracey Leedom (Duke Geneticist) conveyed to me that I was a carrier of the CDH1 genetic change that my mother and grandmother have.

This gene is the cause of Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC) and lobular breast cancer and I now have an 83% chance of getting the same stomach cancer my mom had at age 32 and again at 48. I also have a 39% chance of getting lobular breast cancer but this is easier to detect and can be monitored through regular screening.

The only known thing to give me zero chances of contracting the gastric cancer is to have a prophylactic (preventative) total gastrectomy or "TG" as I will refer to in my journal. I have decided to have this surgery because I do not want to go through all the pain and suffering my mother endured twice with this cancer. It is slow growing and almost impossible to detect.

Seeing my mom and so many others make it through a TG without astounding side effects has empowered me to move forward with this surgery. I hope you will follow me through it. Thank you so much for all the prayers that have been said, flowers that have been sent and phone calls that have been made to me. I really appreciate it!!

Latest Journal Update


Well, today is Valentine's Day but it is also my
6 month post-op anniversary!!!

I have to say that it has been a tough road, very tough at times but I am proud of myself.  I struggle, dealing with everything that has happened to me as a whole but if I step back and take a look at all I have and all God has provided me with, I feel at ease.  I need to remember that when I have bad thoughts that it is the devil trying to bring me down! 

I am so thankful for my family and friends.  I cannot thank everyone enough for all the prayers that have been sent up on account of me.  It really helps to know that so many people care for me and are on my side, pulling for me!  I never thought this 6 month day would get here.  While it has been a long road, it seems like it has flown by. 

I look forward to spring time and being able to get outside and do things, as I LOVE THIS!  Also, I am going to be embarking on a new career path.  I am applying for a position to be a METRO 911 operator in the Greensboro, NC area.  I want to do something that helps others.  I have prayed to God for the past two and a half years that he lead me in the right direction, show me his path. I know he will not steer me wrong where this is concerned either. 

I think this will be my last post.  I am looking forward to moving on with life!  I hope the next 6 months will bring normalcy as far as food is concerned into my life.  Thanks again for everything everyone has done!  I could not have made it without all the help and prayers!  It really means so much more than I can ever say in words!

Love you all!