I am a mother of triplet sons who are 22 years old, a wife to an amazing man for 25 years, and a 1 1/2 year BRCA2+, HER2Neu, breast cancer survivor.
Having grown up in the Chicago area, I graduated with my B.S. from Illinois State University and promptly moved out to Denver, CO where I met my husband, Dave, and where we raised our wonderful sons, Barrett, Conner, and Derek. Needing to be closer to my parents living in Lake Ozark, we moved to the Kansas City area in 2004 and love living in Lees Summit on Raintree Lake in Missouri.
I actually had a 3D mammogram in June, 2015, that was NORMAL. But something, or someone ( – I would like to think it was my Mom in heaven) was pushing me to look at the results of the mammogram. They still couldn’t find anything on the mammogram so I let the pathologist know that I felt a lump on my left breast. Immediately they did an ultrasound and found the lump –it was biopsied and diagnosed Sept 4, 2015 with a 2.4cm HER2Neu+ lump in my left breast, Stage 2 breast cancer.
My surgeon and I thought we could do a lumpectomy until I found out that same week that I was BRCA2 positive. We moved fairly fast in doing a double mastectomy in the month of October, started chemo in November, and then scheduled the total hysterectomy in March.
I work full-time but took a year off to heal, spend time with friends and family, and grow in my faith. I have learned that even with this diagnosis, I am blessed and grateful. So I am back at work, but have a renewed passion for life. I continue to volunteer at my church, Saint Lukes Hospice House, F.O.R.C.E. (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) and in raising awareness of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer.
As hobbies, I like to walk, jog, water ski, snow ski, bike, swim, kayak and hang with family. God is good and so is life.
Joan’s family collage pictured here.