Remembering my grandmother
I never got to meet my grandmother. Lucy Belle died of breast cancer 55 years ago this month. A few years before I was born.
She was only 41.
My great-grandmother, Margaret, also died young of breast cancer. She was just 46. We now know that a BRCA2 genetic mutation runs in our family, putting us at an extremely high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Lucy Belle and Margaret didn't stand a chance in the days before genetic testing, mammograms, MRI breast screenings and nipple-sparing preventative mastectomies.
At least now we have choices. If breast cancer runs in your family, get tested. If you have a high risk of breast cancer, get extra screenings. Consider preventative surgery. Know your options. They can save more of us from dying before our grandchildren ever get the chance to meet us.