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Gildas Club-Metro Detroit's Fundraiser:

Mary Beth Stacey

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THE STORY:

In 1987, I was 29 years old and found a lump. Diagnosis was intraductal carcinoma in situ stage 1. I was shocked! There was no family history and I was the youngest of 7 children, 4 of them sisters. I had a lumpectomy, axillary dissections, 2 months of radiation and chemo for 9 months. It had not spread and the prognosis was good. It was an eye opening experience for me as I was always the "health" one in our family. I took diet and exercise seriously and at 29 had never had anything more serious thana sinus infections. I wasn't even sure what cancer was but I did a lot of reading and armed myself with knowledge. That helped combat the fear, along with the support of my family and friends. Treatment as pretty smooth and I ended up having a son 4 years later. Fast forward 24 years and my sister, Moe, who is closest in age to me was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She also had the genetic test for BRCA. My doctor recommended I get tested as well and not I know I, too, am positive for it. My most trusted surgeon recommended a hyterectomy and oopherectomy (ovarian removal) but to wait on a preventative double mastectomy for now, as I have been cancer free for 27 years. I get tested and watch vigilantly with MRIs and mammograms. Cancer has beena gift in some strange ways. It has been part of my everyday thoughts and routine for almost half my life. It has taught me about gratitude, love, appreciations, the randomness in life and how to let the BS we all face go. Who really has time for that waste of negative energy? Life is great today. My sister is healthy, my 3 kids are too. I have a lovely, supporting husband and I'm a survivor!

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