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Dec 29, 2016 Latest post:
Feb 8, 2017
Breast Cancer affects millions of people, including more than 20 females in my family. My earliest understanding of this intrusive disease was when my great aunt passed away when I was in elementary school. It hit even closer to home when my mother was diagnosed in 1978 at the age of 36. Back then, the options were limited and treatments were more like broad spectrum attacks so she had a single mastectomy and massive radiation treatments. We walked the journey with my mother while more and more family members were diagnosed and passed. I always said, "when I get it, I'll .....". You see, there was never any doubt in my mind that I would eventually have breast cancer. I cared for my mother when she had it again at the age of 60. She had her second mastectomy and it was then, that for the first time in over 25 years, she finally wasn't afraid of dying from cancer any more. Two years later, she discovered that all of the radiation from 1978 had damaged her arteries. After a failed triple bypass, she passed away at the age of 65. When I was ready, I took the genetic testing to see if I carried the BRCA gene, an indicator for breast and ovarian cancer. I was about 7 years behind my younger sister who tested positive and was closely monitoring herself. As expected, I was positive, just like her. I promptly choose to have a double mastectomy and with the tremendous support of my family, recovered fairly quickly and without complications. About a year and a half later, my sister was diagnosed but due to that close monitoring, was able to have a double mastectomy with no other treatments. We both have been proactive and blessed. As she and I move through reconstruction options, the journey continues. You see, I have two daughters and my sister has three.