Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"The Cavalry Has Arrived"

I read an interesting blog yesterday, written by Sue Friedman.....who is the Executive Director of FORCE.  I should probably explain what FORCE is...

It stands for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered    www.facingourrisk.org

I was originally told about FORCE by my genetic counselor, two years ago, when I found out I was a carrier of the BLOWS1 gene...otherwise known as BRCA1.  Yes that's right, I have a genetic counselor!   Before they allow you to take the blood test, that will determine weather you carry the gene or not, they schedule you for a session with a counselor, basically to ensure that you really understand what BRCA is...and let's face it....to make sure you are mentally stable enough to deal with the results.  I suppose not everyone takes the news very well.

My results were immediately followed by a rain storm of pamphlets......self help stuff...local support groups and so on. Among them was a pamphlet about FORCE, which is a support network for women who have the BRCA gene, and have to face the decisions and struggles that come with that.

There are articles, message boards, blogs, links, seminars, groups....anything you could think of. But most importantly, it has other women who are in the same shoes!

I believe my doc said it best: "People can be supportive, they can simpathyze with you....but they will never truly understand how you feel or what you are going through....because they are not you".

Well the doc was right, and in the last two years....though I have been blessed with love and support by so many loved ones, I have also encountered some who didn't agree with my choices, or some who didn't understand the seriousness of the BRCA gene, and.....my personal favorite.....some who just felt I was overreacting to the whole thing. 

When that happened, FORCE provided me with an outlet.....full of other women that were basically "me".....well you know what I mean.

FORCE has faced it's challenges and hardships.....however, our community and overall knowledge of the seriousness of this gene has also come a long way.

You should check out Sue's blog  http://facingourrisk.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/the-cavalry-has-arrived/

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