Tamara Weinmann

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.

Tamara Weinmann

Dear Dr. DiGioia and Dr. Hall-

I have thought a lot about what I want to say to you and write in this note, and I am sure I still won’t even be able to get close to saying everything that I feel.  Firstly, a very big thank you.  Thank you to you and Dr. Hall for performing my prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction (Dr. hall – we’ve still got a ways to go!). Dr. DiGioia, I want to thank you for welcoming me in your office all those years ago when I was just 21 years old.  I will forever be thankful to Dr. Brescia for recommending you to me!  Thank you for not turning me away, for not saying I was too young to have all these breast issues. Thank you for taking me, my concerns and my breasts seriously all these years – for not dismissing any concerns or thoughts I had.  You have monitored me closely, guided me through biopsies, lumpectomies, encouraged me and said it was ok for me to have more babies – my breasts would be ok in the meantime!  You have been my biggest supporter and advocate and I cannot thank you enough for that.  There are no words to describe how I feel for what you and Dr. Hall have done for me.  I know I said this in recovery, but you two will forever sit on a pedestal in my heart. You have given me relief, freedom of constant fear of breast cancer.  I no longer walk around with a huge weight on my shoulders.  I’m no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I no longer think about this disease 24 hours a day!  You have given my children a childhood free of a mother who is dealing with breast cancer.  You have given my husband a sane wife, who is not constantly paranoid about her breasts.  You have given my parents, and especially my mother the knowledge that I will not suffer as she has and is.

I thank you for all the time you have given me.  You both have always been so generous with your time – seeing me countless times, answering every detailed question I had.  Dr Hall, thank you for being patient with me and explaining everything as I went back and forth between nipples and  no nipples, small breasts and larger breasts!  You two are one of a kind!

I want to share with you what my husband wrote to me this year in a valentines card he gave to me: “I especially can’t wait to talk to you after the first surgery is complete.  I’m sure there will be tears of joy similar to having one of our babies!”. That is the feeling you have given my husband and I!  There really are no words to describe the place you will hold in my heart and life forever.

Thank you.


10 Responses to “Tamara Weinmann”

  1. April 11, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Tamara that was so touching. I’m so proud of you. You are so lucky to have such a great team in your life.

  2. April 12, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Tamara, I truly admire your courage in making the decision to take this step. Your deep love for Mike, your children and your entire family are evident in this self-less act. I am so pleased to have gotten to know you and I look forward to a LONG lifetime of friendship with you! You are an amazing person!!!

  3. April 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Tamara I just read the previve note. It is very beautiful and I am so happy Lee and I could be a part of this,what a trooper you are! We love you and our family on the east coast always so special for us and your mom and dad too Tamara. I feel we have a very rewarding experience in our lives with much more to come. We love you, God loves you, take care, talk soon, Love Beth

  4. April 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I have known you for years and the relief that I saw on your face this weekend was unbelievable! You are an amazing person and I’m so happy you will be able to live a carefree life and enjoy all the wonderful moments without worrying about breast cancer.

    Much love-

  5. April 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    My cousin was 25 when she found a lump. SHe did the right thing and went to the doctor immediately. She was told she was overreacting and she was too young to have BC. She fought them and they did a mamogram. The doctor then told her “what do you want me to do. You’re too young and too pretty for a scar.” The scar he was talking about was only from a biopsy! She fought hard for her records and finally got ahold of them, only to find the results said reason to be concerned and further investigation required. She went to another doctor, and was diagnosed only a week before her wedding. She went through treatments and was thought to have beat it. She had a child from a previous relationship, but so wanted one with her new husband, so they had a daughter. Soon after, the cancer blew up. She past away at only 31. The family was told that if she had been treated right away when she found the lump, this could have been avoided. She could have been alive to raise her family! That is why my 25th birthday has been my deadline. I found I was brca1 when I was 22 years old, My daughter was just about to turn 5 as I was bordering 23. I had a prophylactic mastectomy because of my test results and unbelievable family history, with young diagnosis. I always feared turning 25, but now I dont have to. I beat my deadline! So instead, on May 29th, when I turn 25, we are having the first event for the organization I started, Pink-Surance. It is now going to be a celebration and my mission is to help other beat their deadlines through funding genetic testing. Here is the story on my cousin…thought may be interesting to you all. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2000-10-22/features/0010190715_1_breast-cancer-dear-doctor-two-children

  6. May 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I loved that!! Thanks for sharing – there aren’t many of us that don’t have the gene but have decided to have prophylactic masectomies.

    • June 30, 2011 at 1:02 am

      hi val –
      would love to chat with you via email…
      sorry i just saw your post now!

    • July 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      Hello Val!

      I would love to chat with you if you have time… I too did not test positive for BRCA but have a strong family history. I would love to compare notes:)

      Many Blessings,


  7. July 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Hello Tamayra-

    I am 33 years old who also did not test positive for BRCA but have a strong family history. I would love to chat if you have time…



  8. September 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Love this! I’ve been tested BRCA 1 & 2 negative despite my extensive family history with ovarian cancer. My mother, sister, grandmother and great aunt all had ovarian cancer. There is a new test from Ambry Generics called OvaNext. Instead of testing 2 strands of DNA they test 19.

    Thank you for writing this blog

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