We at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction are delighted to share this In her Words post featuring Julie Moon, who is a 34 year old BRCA 1 positive breast cancer previvor. Julie wants other women to be educated, which is why she began the blog Say it Anyway, where she shares her unique story and journey.
See below for our interview with Julie.
What type of reconstruction surgery did you have and how do you feel about the results?
I had a bilateral nipple sparing mastectomy and immediate SGAP reconstruction. I am so excited about having natural looking breasts made from my own body that will be with me for the rest of my life and never have to be replaced. I am so grateful to have found Dr. Craigie and his staff. I knew as soon as I met them that I was in good hands.
Breast cancer runs in your family at what point did you decide to undergo preventative breast surgery?
I found out in 2007 that I was BRCA 1 positive. I decided then that I would go ahead and have my third child and breastfeed her as long as she needed. I participated in the Atlanta Susan G Komen 3Day For The Cure in 2011 and I was moved over that weekend to DO something about my BRCA status. I met with Dr. Craigie in December and had my surgery Feb 1, 2012.
What advice would you give to women who have undergone a mastectomy or double mastectomy and are unsure about natural breast reconstruction?
I would recommend that women look at lots of pictures. I would recommend that they ask specific questions to other women who have undergone the procedure. I found so much great information from the women at the FORCE. I would also encourage them to not be afraid to travel to another city to get the procedure that they really desire. I have three children and a very busy entrepreneur husband. It was A LOT of work to organize all the friends, family and babysitters needed to care for my family while I was out of town for my surgery. It was all so very worth it.
In what ways has breast cancer both negatively and positively affected your life?
I feel very blessed to be one of the women who actually knows what cancer was coming after me and be able to eliminate that risk before it knocked on my door. My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor. She was not lucky enough to be able to have had natural breast reconstruction and now as a grown woman I am able to see how that must have affected her life so dramatically. My aunt died from complications of her chemotherapy that was treating her breast cancer. My mom was smart enough to have a bilateral and reconstruction before they found cancer but ironically she already had it growing in her breast undetected. My BRCA status has taught me how to face something ugly in the face and not be afraid of it but battle it with the best army I could find.
Have questions for Julie? Submit them here! Be sure to check out her blog for tons of educational resources.