Author Archive

That’s a Wrap

By on April 26, 2011 | Category: Claudia's Blog | 7 Comments

I never thought I’d be able to say this, but I’m DONE!!  At 9:30am on Wednesday morning I finished what I started planning over a year ago, and now it’s all behind me.  There are no more decisions to make, no more surgeries to plan.  Now it’s time to let the incisions heal and watch the scars fade away. Read more …

Tamara Weinmann

By on April 10, 2011 | Category: Previvor Stories | 10 Comments

My name is Tamara Weinmann and I currently live in New Jersey.  I am 33 years old, married and a mother of a 6 year old boy and 2 girls, ages 4 and 1.  I recently underwent my prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction (March 21st, 2011) and am still fresh on my journey to full reconstruction.  I am BRCA negative, but have a strong family history and have had many of my own breast ‘issues’ over the years!  I wrote this letter to my breast surgeon and plastic surgeon just last week.  It contains all my feelings and emotions and best describes where I am currently at.  If anyone would like to speak with me, I am open to sharing!  There have been so many wonderful, supportive and honest women that I have met and spoken with during this journey.  Please see my letter below. Read more …

Becoming Whole Again

By on March 16, 2011 | Category: Claudia's Blog | 8 Comments

Months before my mastectomy, I made a very big decision.  Actually, I made a LOT of decisions once I finally decided to have my surgery.  I had to choose doctors, a surgery date, how long to leave work, where to recover, how to document my story, and how to savor the time I had left with my natural breasts.  I’m usually the last one to order at a restaurant – taking every menu item into careful and deliberate consideration – so you can imagine how painstaking it was to make so many big, life-changing decisions within a matter of months!  But there was one decision in particular that would make a very significant difference for me – my reconstruction. Read more …

The Most Attractive Week of My Life

By on March 3, 2011 | Category: Claudia's Blog | 3 Comments

Time always moves very quickly.  Just a few days ago I was celebrating the new year, now spring is almost here.  On one hand, 2011 seems to be moving at lightning speed, as if Jeff Gordon is at the wheel and we’re all buckled in for the ride.  But so much has happened over these past seven weeks.  It seems like ages ago when I was baking holiday cookies by the dozen, clinging to any distraction I could before the big day.  Then, on January 11th, someone finally knocked me out, and I woke up with brand new breasts and a brand new lease on life.  This marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life, and the pages are already filling fast. Read more …

Jodi Kreizer

By on March 1, 2011 | Category: Previvor Stories | 5 Comments

My name is Jodi Kreizer, I’m from New York City and I am currently 28 years old. Two years ago I learned that I am a carrier for BRCA1.

My grandmother, Irma Schnier, died of breast cancer in 1985.  I was only 2 at the time of her passing and knew her only from pictures and stories.  To me, for most of my life, that’s what cancer was – pictures and stories.  However, what I recently found out would truly change my perspective – and my life – forever.

Because of my grandmother’s breast cancer, my older sister Alyson encouraged my father to take the genetic test after looking further into our family history.  It turns out that my great grandfather was one of 13 children and sadly all seven of his sisters died from breast and/or ovarian cancer.   My father had inherited the BRCA1 mutation from his mother and soon we would find out that he had passed it on to us. Read more …

A Previvor at Last!

By on January 27, 2011 | Category: Claudia's Blog | 10 Comments

After months and months of preparation, I can hardly believe the surgery is done and I’m recovering!   I could never conceive of anything after January 11th.  That Tuesday stood out to me as the biggest, most insurmountable day of all time.  Even though the New Year just began, my calendar abruptly ended on January 11th.  It was going to be a very short year. Read more …

Here Goes Nothing

By on January 11, 2011 | Category: Claudia's Blog | 12 Comments

I can’t believe it’s here. It’s hard to believe I’ve been planning this day for nearly 10 months. I remember meeting with my friend Ali Weinberg for lunch on March 20th. I remember this day because it was one day before my 23rd birthday, the same Sunday when the Early Act passed.  Ali was my age and had a prophylactic mastectomy done a year before.  She regretted absolutely nothing and loved her new breasts.  After hearing her story and seeing her beautiful new breasts, I was brought to tears at the relief of knowing that a mastectomy was a viable option for a 23-year-old woman with a BRCA-1 mutation, that I didn’t have to wait until 35 to do away with the anxiety and cancer risk associated with this defective gene, and that other 23-year-olds had already paved the way for me.  If Ali could do it then so could I. Read more …

Getting Festive, Nervous and Downright Crazy

By on December 22, 2010 | Category: Claudia's Blog | 9 Comments

I don’t want to write, not while I’m feeling sad. Usually I share bits and pieces of my story when I’m excited about my decision, when I’m feeling particularly empowered and elated about lopping off my breasts to prevent cancer. I mean, who wouldn’t be, if it meant finally putting your anxiety and fear to rest?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic that in 21 days I’ll never have to worry about this disease again, at least not as much. During the first three hours of my mastectomy, my lifetime risk will go from around 90% to approximately 1-3%. That’s pretty cool! But right now I’m not feeling so peachy about the whole thing. Actually, I’m kinda scared. Read more …

Jennifer Panaro

By on November 20, 2010 | Category: Previvor Stories | 4 Comments

This is my story…About ten years ago I was watching one of the morning news shows and there was a mother and daughter being interviewed because they carried the breast cancer gene.  The daughter was in her early twenties and she had undergone a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy.  I watched in horror because I couldn’t believe that anyone would ever remove their healthy breasts even though they didn’t have cancer. Read more …

Going Live!

By on October 24, 2010 | Category: Claudia's Blog | 2 Comments

It began three weeks ago when I got a phone call from Georgetown University Hospital. I can still hear the voicemail clear as day. There was so much excitement bursting in her voice, she couldn’t get the words out fast enough. “The TODAY Show wants the story!” said Marianne Worley, head of media and public relations at the hospital. “You’ll be on October 7th, call me immediately.” Read more …

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