"My story starts with my grandmother. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 70’s and after undergoing a single mastectomy, it returned a few years later and she passed away. At the time, I was 19 years old.
In 2021, doctors detected a lump in my mother’s breast during a mammogram & [she] was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after. It was scary. I’ll never forget her words before sharing the news with me, “I don’t want you to worry”. They recommended a single mastectomy however, with the family history and results showing that she carried the BRACA gene, she preferred to have both breasts removed. My mom underwent a double mastectomy procedure in June of 2021 and it has now been two years since her initial diagnosis. Her resiliency & bravery encouraged me to face this reality.
Soon after I completed the same genetic testing and too discovered that I am BRACA positive. I was given choices - routine breast screening, MRIs, ultrasounds, or have preventative surgery, in my case a prophylactic double mastectomy. It was hard to consider what to do, but with the support of my husband, mother, and friends, I made the decision and underwent the procedure in early 2022. It was a challenging and emotion-filled journey to navigate.
Once the process was done, I was proud of my choice and began to move forward. Leaning on the supports in my life when needed was integral to my healing. I’ve worked through many feelings by reminding myself that being present and living without fear for myself, my husband, and my children is most important."