Episode 53: Paula Shepherd Gets Real w/ Her BRCA+ Journey
Sometimes you don’t have to actually have HAD cancer to really understand some unspoken cancer truths, like what it’s like to be thrown into menopause at a young age or what that first look at yourself post-mastectomy and reconstruction surgery feels like. This week’s guest, Paula Shepherd, a mom of 4 and business confidence & leadership coach, shares with us her own journey and experience of discovering that she was BRCA2+ in her 30s, what that meant for her, and her choice to undergo a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and partial hysterectomy by age 37.
We’re diving into:
- Paula’s experience of being told by her doctor at 25 years old that it wasn’t a matter of IF she got breast cancer, but WHEN, and what led her and her mother to get tested for the BRCA gene mutation years later
- Her journey through the decision the have a prophylactic partial hysterectomy after years of infertility struggles
- The feelings of shame and loneliness Paula felt during her surgical treatment and recovery because she wasn’t going through cancer like the other women around her
- All the things no one tells you about after breast reconstruction surgery (like sleep difficulties and dealing with postsurgical drains with your partner!)
- How being plunged into menopause shortly after giving birth brought mental health challenges no one prepared her for
- The silver lining from Paula’s own choices about how to manage her BRCA+ diagnosis that also helped her mom during a breast cancer recurrence
- And so much more!
Follow Paula on Instagram
Continue the conversation in my free private Facebook group, Surviving is JUST the Beginning
Join me for a Coffee Chat here
Follow me on Instagram and connect for updates about the podcast
Want to appear as a guest?
Get the Episode
Episode 75: Health Awareness Month, EVERY Month You might be surprised to know that I'm not a fan of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (although I do appreciate the support!), but, I am an advocate for being health aware EVERY month, and I'm passionate about empowering...
Episode 74: Lymphedema: an unexplained mystery indeed! I describe higher education as a little like a marathon! You finish it and feel elated but wow I am never doing that again and yet here I am working on my second masters in public health (and I have completed 3...
Episode 73: Switching Up the Standard of Care with Stacey Tinianov Did you know that you have choices when it comes to treating your cancer? You CAN be in charge of your health and have the personalized care you want! My guest this week, Stacey Tinianov, is a mom,...