“My Voice” by Carey Weiner

Carey Weiner - 'Survivor'

June 25, 2007, I thought I was going in for a routine Mammogram, Ultrasound and MRI right before my 35th birthday, due to breast cancer running in my family.  Little did I know it was the day that changed my life forever!

I had known that there were issues in my family, my Grandmother and her sister and passed away years ago from breast cancer; my mother’s cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago.  My mother, my aunt and a slew of other relative were positive for the BRCA 1 Gene.  I had known all this and went to my new OB/GYN in 2005 when I moved to Florida, he told me I was “too young”.  Those famous words that someone under 40 hears all the time when it comes to breast health, it is too bad that at the time I listened to my OB/GYN instead of my body or my head!

After have the 3 different tests, which I recommend for all women, my mammogram came back normal (the tumor was there, but missed).  I was told to come back to my OB/GYN for follow up, it turns out my Ultrasound and MRI were suspicious and a biopsy was needed.  I met with a Breast Specialist, she did a Needle Biopsy, it came back inconclusive and an Open Biopsy was then done a month later.
Those words, “you have cancer” are so surreal, you feel dizzy, as if you are on the outside looking in.  You almost wish you can go back in time, you do not grasp it and then it hits you and you don’t know what to do!  All these Doctors, choices, and surgeries…WHAT DO I DO????

I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Grade 2 DCIS Breast Cancer on August 30 2007.  3 days later I found out I was BRCA 1+ (breast cancer gene).  I sat with my team of Doctors, we decided that I would have a Bi-lateral Mastectomy with Reconstructive Surgery in a 1 step process; I would forgo Radiation and Chemotherapy because my tumor was just small enough.  I do credit myself for being proactive and persistent with my OB/GYN, he would have let me wait until I was 40!

On September 17, 2007, I had my Mastectomy, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done!  Within a year, I had gone through 7 surgeries including many reconstructions, more biopsies (possible reoccurrence), staph infection with MRSA and Hysterectomy.
I had to do my best to hold my head up high, I have a family, and my Husband Ken was trying to care for me at the same time care for our 5 year old twins Aidan and Abigail.  My kids have had a very difficult time during all of this, seeing mommy sick is not easily understood.  We are trying our best, but…

Things happen in stages, such as once the cancer was gone I felt like I could conquer the world and I did!  I got involved in everything, a little too soon!!!  Then depression kicked in and I did not leave the house for few months, I am getting better and I am not scared to say that I am on anti-depressants and do seek help.

I have tried very hard and still try to help other young women understand what can happen to them, I teach them, I talk to them and I will show them my scars.  I am very passionate about my beliefs and I will and do get the word out about breast health and being one’s own advocate any way I can!  I make sure that woman know about the BRCA Gene and I work closely with my Susan G. Koman Affiliate here in South Florida.

I am A Survivor in every way shape and form!  My kids look up to me, my friends know who to go to when they have questions, I speak to strangers all the time.  I have been to hell and back again, but I am still here and I am here to share my story with whoever will listen and take a lesson! I may be one person, but I will get the word out about being a young breast cancer survivor and I will help other’s not have to go through what I have been through!!!