Taking Control of my BRCA1 Journey
Hi! My name is Terrie Reisdorff and on August 8th I will be a 5-year breast cancer survivor. My cancer story started back during the summer of 2014 when my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I always knew my grandmother’s family had many deaths due to cancer, because of this I did some research to see if there was anything I could do to get ahead of this horrible disease. Fortunately, I lived in Dallas/Ft. Worth area and the UT Southwestern Medical Center – Cancer Genetics had a Genetic Counselor to speak with. On Christmas Eve of 2014, I found out I carried the BRCA1 gene. From that moment on I decided to be in charge and not let cancer control me. I had my fallopian tubes and ovaries removed, (I had already had a hysterectomy) since that cancer was such a silent beast. I elected to manage my journey by doing mammograms and MRIs every 6 months, and in May of 2017 on an MRI they found my cancer. I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy which showed DCIS 1 grade 3 and no lymph node involvement. I believe without the BRAC1 diagnosis my journey would have been very different. Because of my journey, I organized 30 of my relatives to get genetic testing. Three additional members of my family have the gene, my brother (Stan) and both of my children (William III and Caitlyn). This was devastating to me, but they assure me, because of my journey they will actively be in charge of their health and use the guidelines to be Previvors.