Chrissy's story is the first "Survivor Story" which can also be read on http://www.mypinkplanner.com/ . These stories are about real women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.
People tell me I am a survivor. But I am not.
I didn't have breast cancer. I didn't go through chemotherapy. I didn't have radiation.
Yet, cancer changed my life forever.
My sister is a breast cancer survivor. Another sister survived thyroid cancer. My mother died from breast cancer when she was very young.
I was a living time-bomb, so I became a member of a local cancer study. The study looked at siblings and family members with a strong history of breast cancer.
In 2004, I was a single mother with a young son. I could wait my turn for cancer to change my life -- or I could take control of my future.
I researched loads of websites. Talked to my doctors. Spoke to dozens of women who were lucky enought to be breast cancer survivors. I wanted to get the statistics on my side so I decided to do something that some may think was drastic -- I had my breasts removed profilactically.
I've heard the concern and confusion from people asking me why I did this. Yet the answer is plain and simple. I wanted to do everything I could to try to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible for my son...and for me.
Today, as a result, I feel more confident now. I still sometimes worry about every little bump I notice on my beautifully-reconstructed breasts. I'm not saying I coudn't still get breast cancer, but having my breasts removed has improved my chances dramatically.
Here's to the women who were part of any breast cancer research, and make it possible for my sisters and me to remain healthy.