My name is Michelle and my story begins 20 years ago. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. When she was diagnosed again with breast cancer less than five years later I asked her to take the BRCA Test with me.
I worked for the Cancer Care Center at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. They were offering free genetic testing to Jewish mothers and daughters during a clinical trial. My mother refused to participate stating that nobody had ever had cancer in our family before her.
My mother developed cancer every five years after her first diagnoses in 1992. She passed away in 2010 from metastaic lung cancer. It took me one year after her death to get tested. Her oncologist said to me “you will not be BRCA positive” after all your mother was the only one in your family to have cancer. Six weeks after testing the oncologist calls, Michelle, your BRCA positive. Now what?......
I spent several months researching prophylactic mastectomies.
Was I really going to this? What would I look like? Who voluntarily does this I thought to myself…. I do!! This is to save my life. To not repeat history and to lower my percentage rate of getting cancer. I do! So, that I get to see my children grow up and I get to grow old and love every wrinkle that may come my way. I do! So, that I can grow old with my husband and see my grandchildren. I do! So, that I can reach out and save another woman from having to go through this alone.
I found PRMA and Dr. Chrysopoulo. My reconstruction is fabulous. I do not have any visible scars. He is an artist. PRMA is one of the few practices that perform the Alloderm one step reconstructive procedure with breast implants. Thank you to PRMA and your entire staff.