My name is Suzy and I am 33, a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. A year and a half ago life was pretty “normal”. In early 2018 after a routine pap it was recommended that I do genetic testing since my mother passed from ovarian cancer when I was 13. Not thinking twice, I went ahead and took it. Little did I know what that meant and how it would affect me and my family. Shortly after I received the call that I was BRCA positive and would need to complete genetic counseling.
After my initial shock, I began to do some research, met the counselor, and gratefully a group of women going through something similar. I learned about my options and heard the stories of others. I had learned that I was a previvor. Unlike my mother, who had passed at the early age of 45 I had choices and i could take charge. I want to be around much longer then my mother was around for me. I’m sure she would make the same choices if she had the opportunity.
At some point my plan was to undergo a preventative double mastectomy and hysterectomy. I wanted as little chance of cancer to get me as possible. Until I was ready for that I opted to do breast screenings every 6 months. My doctors were ok with this until I was to turn 35. They didn’t want to wait much longer than that. I wanted to wait on the surgery because I wanted one more child. I love being a sister so without a doubt i wanted the same for my son. I told myself once that happens, I would be ready for these life changing surgeries.
Well- life had a different plan. 8/2/19 I made the change from a previvor to a survivor. I was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer after my routine BRCA screening. I am so grateful for the genetic testing I had and the screening I chose because I caught cancer very early. Today, just like last year, my best choice is a double mastectomy followed by reconstruction. I don’t know what I will need further until my pathology comes back post op.
I am working with a fertility team in order to freeze my eggs and hope that once this is behind me, I can grow my wonderful family. I love being a mom! It’s what my mother taught me best and I hope to share her legacy through my children and family.
Today, I am hopeful and looking forward to my future. I will be there for my family thanks to genetic testing, screening, and my choice to take action.
BRCA strong and cancer warrior,
Instagram @survivorsuzy for photos, more detailed experiences, and what’s to come!