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!
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