Thursday, June 7, 2012

Saying TA-TA to the TA-TAs!

Last week a few of us ladies got together to honor a good friend of mine, Lauren, and say "Ta-Ta to the Ta-Tas". Yes, you read it correctly. We toasted a big PEACE OUT to her upper portion. Let me explain..
.

Lauren is about to embark on a courageous journey June 11th. Not only is this Lauren's journey, but her sister Elissa's as well.  They are both enduring the exact same procedures a month apart from one another.  My hope is that this post will broaden your awareness about the tests available for women who could genetically have an increased risk of being diagnosed with cancer.  The goal here today is to not only gather prayers for Lauren and her sister, but to help educate women about the medical procedures insurance will cover if you happen to be tested BRCA positive.

Elissa on the left and Lauren on the right.

In Lauren's own words:

"My story really begins back in 2007 when my mother was diagnosed with an ovarian carcinosarcoma. My mother's side of the family had never (in my lifetime) had any cancers and her diagnosis seemed to be just a streak of terrible luck. She fought the disease valiantly for a little over a year before quietly passing away in her sleep at 5:43 a.m. on September 18th, 2008. It crossed my mind at the time to be tested for a genetic mutation, but since we had no other family history of cancer, my doctor and I decided that it was probably not a genetics thing and put off testing.

Fast forward to October 2011: I got a phone call from my sister about a week after her visit to her OBGYN. She told me that she had been tested for a BRCA mutation and her test was positive. I was honestly shocked and immediately decided to get tested. I had to wait for my own genetic counseling appointment and then another 4 weeks to receive my results. On December 28, 2011, I received the phone call that set all of this into motion. I, too, was BRCA 2 positive.

On February 23, 2012, I had a preventive bilateral oophorectomy to remove my ovaries and fallopian tubes. This reduces my risk of ovarian cancer by 96%. On June 11, 2012, I will undergo a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction at St. Davids Hospital in Austin, Texas. Having this surgery will reduce my risk of breast cancer to less than 10%. My risk prior to these surgeries was 50% for ovarian cancer and 87% for breast cancer.

I feel so blessed to have my wonderful husband and 3 daughters, along with friends and extended family, to support me through this journey. I have been given the opportunity to take control of my health. It is not always easy. In fact, most of the time it's down right scary, but if going through this gives me just one more day with my children than it will have been completely worth it!"

She is such a brave women, wife, mother, sister and friend.  

If you wish to send her an encouraging message, please do so in a comment below.  I will make sure to pass on all of the thoughts, prayers and well wishes to her.  

We love you Lauren! 

PEACE OUT to the TA-TAs!!!



38 comments:

Alissa said...

What a fun away to celebrate such an important cause! My friend was tested a few years ago, but her results were negative.

Good luck to both of them!

Karen said...

Good luck Lauren and Elissa! I love how you decided to celebrate!

Tara St said...

I had no idea that this type of testing was available. You are dropping some major knowledge on the blogosphere. Do most insurance plans cover it?

Tara
Penniless Socialite

Makaila said...

Wow. I have heard tid bits here and there about this testing, but hadn't heard a story like this. Very interesting. And informative. Thank you!

Good luck Lauren & Elissa!!

Always Maylee said...

Wow, good luck to your friends. My best friend's mom also died from ovarian cancer. She and her sister both got tested and thankfully were both negative. Best wishes to Lauren and Elissa!

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

TheTinyHeart said...

What a wonderful friend you are for supporting her through this journey! My aunt is a breast cancer survivor!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart

Ashley K said...

I hope everything goes well for both of them this is a courageous leap, I wish them the best.

Morgan Stone said...

Good luck to Lauren and Elissa! This is a very courageous move and I admire them for it. I really appreciate them sharing their story and bringing awareness to this as well! And thank YOU for sharing it on here! :)

xoxo, me

Elissa said...

Tara-Insurance will cover the test of they determine you have enough family history. Also I was originally declined, but then approved on appeal with proof of the family history. If there is no history, myriad, the company that processes the tests offers a discounted test. Once the gene is found to be positive, insurance has covered all of my appointments as specialist visits with a regular co-pay. My surgery will cost no more than any other surgery would. Basically everything including surveillance is covered as regular medical care now. It cost them less to do all that then to pay for you if you get cancer so they do it.

Calli Smith said...

Good luck to both of you! We will be saying lots of prayers for a speedy recovery. You are both amazing!! Love, Calli (duckworth) Smith

Meghan @ More from Meg said...

What a great way to celebrate! Good luck to both lovely ladies!!! I hope everything goes smoothly and quickly!

Jayme and Mendi said...

Thank you so much for sharing their stories!! We are sending out our love and prayers for both families! These are two strong women that needs to be celebrated!!

Jayme & Mendi @ Her Lat Night Cravings

Landi Lausen said...

What a moving story!! My thoughts and prayers are with Lauren and Elissa to a healthy future. My grandmother died on ovarian cancer so I am going to probably have a hysterectomy after having children to reduce the risk for myself. My mom has done tons of tests since my grandmother died in 2007 and I will do the same to be as preventative as possible. Way to go girls on taking control of your health! xoxo

Head to Toe Chic said...

Good luck with the surgery ladies! I'll be praying for you both! So many relatives of mine have passed away from cancer so I appreciate you sharing your story. This definitely makes me want to get tested.

Angela

Sami said...

Wow what an incredible story! Both of your friends are so brave! I really had no idea that you could be tested to see if you risk getting cancer! Thanks for sharing lady :)

Debbie @PinkTexasChick said...

I saw some pictures not long ago from the "tatas" party on Facebook and wondered what was going on. I didn't see anything on Lauren's page so I didn't want to flat out ask. Now I know the mystery.

She and I met and became friends well over a decade ago when we both worked at Hallmark and thankfully have stayed in touched through FB.

Thank you for sharing her story like this and including some great story telling photos. I most certainly have Lauren and her sister on my prayer list. :)

Ashley said...

I've honestly never heard of this. I'm glad you posted this story. Best of luck to them!!

Kate @ Green Fashionista said...

Wow, thank you for sharing their stories. They're such brave and amazing women! I wish them both all the best and will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

Lindsay said...

Thanks for sharing their stories! Best of luck to both of them!

Andrea said...

It is awesome to hear a story of a young woman taking control and showing the rest of the world it will be ok and to be proactive! Prayers for a speedy recovery.

still being [molly] said...

wow - what an inspiring story of courage and perseverance!!

Simply Sarah said...

what an inspiring story - the smile on her face says it all about how courageous, beautiful, and brave she is. I agree with many above, I need to find out more about this testing...what a great way to support <3

sarahsavvystyle.com

Erin @ Currently Coveting said...

Good luck to your friends, I should probably look into this myself, thank you for dropping some knowledge on us! What inspiring women!

xx,
Erin

Mrs C said...

Dear Lauren, you are truly a brave woman, a courageous one and a lucky one to have family ad friends like Shanna to stand with you.. my prayer to you and God bless :)

xxx

http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.com/2012/06/purple-and-floral-hope-for-peace.html

Megs said...

Good luck Lauren & Elissa! This is such a powerful post & a wonderful share. Life is beautiful, even when it's hard, and we should all celebrate life as much as we can. LOVELY post, hun! xo, Megs

princess.hippie.love.

Robyn said...

Wow, so brave. My ob/gyn JUST told me I should be tested for the gene b/c we have a family history and I'm Jewish, so I'm even more at risk. I'm so torn on whether to have this test. Much love and luck to you!
http://bestdressedinthenest.tumblr.com/

Amy Shaughnessy said...

Oh wow! I will be praying for sure!

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

Hell what's so appealing about em anyway, two pieces of fat with areolas and dots for decoration. I dont' see a party when I look at em. Off with the ta's.

Andrea {blonde ambitions} said...

Good luck to them both! So glad they were tested and can decrease their risk by so much! I will be thinking about them both over the next several months!

What a fun night you all had to embark on their journey!

Chris said...

Best of luck to your friends! My thoughts and prayers to them!

Stephanie said...

Wow what a brave couple of girls. Wishing the best for both of them!

Adam Shingleton said...

Thank you to everyone who posted words of encouragement and prayer today. I read each and every post and appreciate all of them. Thank you to Shanna for the post and for helping us to raise awareness for this extremely important cause! As someone said above, I am lucky to have a friend in you!!! XOXO! -Lauren

Alexa said...

Oh my goodness what a brave journey they are going on. All the best and love and hugs to both of them!

SylviaLovesPink said...

Prayers go out to Lauren. She is very brave to take this journey. I have a friend who had a selective mastectomy last year and has no regrets. Blessings and much love!

Stephanie said...

Best wishes to your friends... that takes a lot of courage. Thanks for sharing their story... very informative and inspiring!

Tracy Walpole said...

Because I work at MD Anderson, I see these reminders daily, but I recognize that most people don't. I appreciate that you've taken a moment to share just how important it is to take care of ourselves. I wish your friends nothing but success and all my best on their brave journey!

Anne said...

I love this post, Shanna! What a courageous gal.

I had a breast reduction 9 weeks ago and I am so tremendously glad I did in more ways than one. The main one being that my risk for breast cancer is now much less as well.

Thanks for sharing!

gayle @ grace for gayle said...

Ah! Love!

I am going to share more like I said, but my friends threw me a Ta-Ta to Gayle's Ta Ta's party, and it was awesome. SOOOOOO great that y'all celebrated with her in similar fashion! We girls gotta stick together, yeah?!

Thanks for sharing!! :)

xoxo,
Gayle | Grace for Gayle

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