Previvor Day

It's been a week, people. Quite a week. But today is a day where I hope you hear at least one story of knowledge turned action turned prevention. Today is not about "curing cancer" or pinktober for me. Today is Previvor Day. If we are going to talk about breast cancer awareness, let's talk about the awareness that might actually prevent cancer.

Family history is still the biggest risk factor for breast cancer and for families like mine, that means even more. Five years ago, I found out I carry the BRCA1 mutation. I found out this is why I never met my grandmother (2x breast cancer in the 60s) and why I lost my aunt (ovarian cancer). We found out there was a reason why cancer was rampant through my family. And I found out there was something I could do.

Two years ago, I underwent a prophylactic mastectomy. I didn't have cancer yet. But I am outrunning the beast. It was not an easy decision. I don't love my foobs. I have no feeling in them. I've had two revisions. I still have to have my ovaries removed. It's not over.

But I will be here for my girls in a way that women in my family have not for generations. This knowledge and their struggles led me (and my sister) to this point. The ability for my family to talk about what they went through brought me a clarity that they did not have.

We lost my mother-in-law to metastatic breast cancer. I lost my best friend. If sharing my story of hereditary breast cancer can save someone's mother, mother-in-law, aunt, best friend, daughter, father (male breast cancer is a thing, along with prostate and pancreatic in our communities), brother, cousin. then sharing my story is the most important thing I can do. 

Be aware. Not of breast cancer. I think we all have that awareness. But of your family history. Of your ethnic history (shout out to my Jewish brothers and sisters). Of YOUR risk.