As a nine-year old girl, I had heard the word breast before. And admittedly, most of the time the word would follow with juvenile laughter, just like when a kid would pass gas in class. But on Thanksgiving Day, 2000, the word “breast” preceded the word “cancer” at my family’s dining room table. And the word “breast” no longer generated a childish giggle.
At age 35, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. And like any young mother, when she heard the word “cancer” she immediately wanted it out. She saw the first surgeon who would operate on her, and her surgery was scheduled for the following Monday.
Glorie Meador was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, just weeks after her father was diagnosed with the same disease. Glorie fought a brave and courageous fight, and passed away May 30th, 2011.
Five years later, her daughter Audra underwent cancer genetic testing and was found to carry a BRCA2 mutation, making her high risk for developing breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers and melanoma. Audra’s story is different than that of her mother, she knows her risk before cancer. Audra has options for early detection and prevention, an opportunity we all wish Glorie would have had.