I have always been aware of cancer and the devastation it causes. Before I was even born cancer had taken my grandfather and uncle from me. Growing up I knew several cousins, aunts, and uncles who had also been inflicted. But it wasn’t until 1996 that cancer became a part of my daily language when my dad was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
Thankfully he went into remission for 12 years and was here to walk me down the isle and meet my daughters. Cancer resurfaced in my family in 2002 when my aunt was diagnosed and died of breast cancer. Then in 2004, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My mom fought a heroic fight but lost her battle in March of 2007.
In May of 2008, several family and friends tried to tell me something was wrong with my dad. I in the midst of my own grief after loosing my mom just figured he too was grieving. As it turns out, his cancer had returned. He died 14 days later of metastatic lung cancer that had spread to his liver, just 14 months after I lost my mom.
This is where my story gets personal.I decided to get testing for the BRCA 1 mutation so that I could LIVE for my daughters. It turns out I was positive and have an 80% chance of getting breast cancer and a 70% chance of getting ovarian cancer. In 2010, I made the decision to have a radical double mastectomy with reconstruction and in June of 2013, I had a radical hysterectomy. Both surgeries were elective and preventative. I could scream from the mountain tops that I CAN’T get breast, ovarian, uterine, or cervical cancers and that is truly a wonderful thing. Cancer took my mom, dad, and so many wonderful other people from me, but it has NOT taken my determination and my will to FIGHT for a long, happy, and cancer free life with my family.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.