Moving forward in the face of a BRCA gene mutation diagnosis, is essential to a woman’s well-being. FACING OUR RISK OF CANCER EMPOWERED, otherwise known as “FORCE” provides support, information and unbiased resources to ease the way. Since 1999, FORCE has been the leader in empowering those at high risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
FORCE was my guardian angel throughout my BRCA2 diagnosis, surgery and recovery. Although I am an achiever at heart, I had to lighten up and to let go of many things. I received factual information and I learned tips and tricks to manage myself and my family. I also made new friends that were going through a similar challenge. FORCE and my amazing health care team helped me to advocate for what I needed and to focus on what mattered most.
Upcoming Annual Conference
FORCE is still an important part of my life. That’s why I’m going to exhibit my Eileen & Eva® Heal With Style CollectionTM at the Annual Conference in San Diego, October 18-20. The event will present a wide range of topics and the latest research about hereditary cancer for survivors, previvors, people with a BRCA mutation or family history of cancer. Patient advocates, researchers and health care providers who treat high risk patients will also attend.
Breast reconstruction, genetics, mastectomy basics, clinical trials, insurance challenges, fertility and family planning, and diet and exercise are common issues among those facing BRCA. Medical experts will explore them in depth. A wonderful array of sponsors will be on hand, as well, to answer questions and to offer resources. Registration is easy, and if you can’t make it many of the slides will be available on the website.
Managing adversity is complex. If you or someone you love is dealing with a BRCA diagnosis, these 5 areas can help with stress:
- Centering: Achieve a quiet mind
- Confidence: Trust yourself to make wise choices
- Community: Ask for help, connect with others
- Commitment: Dedicate time to who and what you value
- Compassion: Be kind and generous
A Personal Lens
Fear is real and it can take over. It can keep you from making informed decisions. It can compromise your health and well-being. Managing conversations with loved ones can be difficult, but they are necessary.
The best advice I can offer you is to be courageous and well-informed. Understanding the myths behind media hype can help to calm one’s fears. Learning about the research, genetic testing, treatment regimens and breast reconstruction promotes better-informed decision making. Connect with other BRCA+ women, patients, caregivers and professionals. Community is everything when you’re searching for the right path.
As a previvor, I had 6 surgeries within 18 months. Recovering from a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy with oophorectomy would have been much more difficult without FORCE along the way. I developed more resilience, energy and wisdom to help me cope with my challenges and to thrive once again.
If you’re confused or at a point where you need to take action, we are here for you. Reach out. We are in this together, today and forever!