Today is National Previvor Day, right in the middle of Nation Hereditary Cancer week. On September 15, 2010, history was made with the unanimous passage of H. Res. 1522. The Congressional resolution declaring the first-ever National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week and National Previvor Day. Last year, FORCE renamed the week to recognize and honor all people affected by hereditary cancer.
This year, National Hereditary Cancer Week is September 26 – October 2, 2021. National Previvor Day is September 29th. FORCE has grown to support not only the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer community, but also the millions of individuals and families facing hereditary colorectal, endometrial, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate and other cancers.
National Previvor Day
Making the decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy is an extremely difficult one. Our options are not pretty. Opt for additional screening and catch early. or go through body altering surgeries in hopes of beating the clock. For me, I was lucky. There was no cancer. It just was the fall out from multiple surgeries and working towards getting my life back to “normal”. What nobody tells you is that it is a new normal. This decision changes who you are at the very core.
Would I do it all over again. Yes, but I would do it differently. I would have put more time between my mastectomy and reconstruction. For that matter, I would have probably put more time between my hysterectomy and mastectomy. May, August and November in one year was really hard on my body with three major surgeries.
2020 was the year of the pandemic and more surgeries, I was still in fight mode. At almost the end of 2021 I am just now grappling with the emotional toll it has taken on me. I was lucky, I had a loving supportive husband through this whole process. He enabled me to not work and spend time healing. Now back working full time, I have so much respect for the women that are back to work weeks after surgery.