My story begins 15 years ago when my identical twin sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She found a lump when she was in the shower and went right to the emergency room. She called to tell me she knew she had breast cancer. I told her not to worry but to get herself checked out. I was terrified deep down inside, but I didn’t let her know. Her doctor ordered an ultrasound and mammogram. Unfortunately, because she was only 30, they said a mammogram wasnt necessary. They told her they thought they saw a cyst on the ultrasound an sent her away.
Three months later she noticed that the lump had gotten larger. I insisted she see my doctor, who immediately ordered a mammogram. It was confirmed she had stage IIB breast cancer. Fortunately, we caught it before it spread to the lymph nodes. After my sister’s diagnosis, they recommended I got checked for the breast cancer gene. I had never heard of it before. Our test results showed that we both carried the BRCA-1 gene mutation.
I decided to undergo prophylactic surgery to remove my breasts and get immediate reconstruction. I also had my ovaries removed. They said I had an 85-90% of getting breast cancer, and they found some abnormal cells during my surgery. My twin sister is my hero. She is now a 15-year survivor! She says I saved her life because I insisted she get checked by my doctor, but really she saved mine! Even though I hate that she had breast cancer at such a young age, it really did save my life…I never would have known that I had a time bomb inside ready to explode!
Boca Raton, FL