BRCA positive? Let the FORCE be with you. It could save your life.

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7 things to do at a FORCE conference.

1. Hook up with others before the conference:

If you have a local chapter, attend a meeting before the conference. Find out who is attending and go together or meet up at the conference. If you don’t have a local chapter, find others on the message board on theFORCE (Facing our Risk Cancer Empowered) website. It is always nice to know others at the conference and make yourself feel more at ease.

2.Talk to other women:

There is nothing like talking to someone who has been through what you are going through. I found that most women at the conference are very approachable. They are there to learn, get support and help others, just as you are. Great opportunities to talk to others are during meals, open discussions, and breaks between lectures. Or just approach someone like my mother did who is wearing the same color beads that you are.( See my blog, Part II Let the FORCE be with you to find out more about the purpose of the beads.)

3.Attend a “show and tell”:

This was something that I had not planned on attending, but ended up being one of the most helpful and influential experiences during the conference. Seeing other women post operatively after a mastectomy and reconstruction was amazing. I never expected to see the awesome results that I did. This is a must even if you have not considered surgery, just to see the advancements made in these procedures.

4.Attend the “ask the experts” round table:

This event is invaluable, providing you with an opportunity to talk one on one with experts in such fields as gynecology, genetics, cancer and psychology.  I took full advantage of the round tables and worked the room.  I marked down who I wanted to talk to and visited each table. Knowledge is power.

5.Talk to vendors:

During the breaks there is a room set up with various vendors that range from breast surgeons to implant companies. This is a great time to talk to top companies and experts in the fields of gynecology and breast reconstruction. There are also various organizations that support previvors and survivors of breast and ovarian cancer. Sign up with them and you can find ways to get more support.

6. See “ In the Family”

If you have not already seen this documentary by Joanna Rudnick, I highly recommend it. I discuss it at greater length in my blog titled BRCA: A previvor’s story, from discovery to empowerment.

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7.Plan out your day:

Take some time to look at the schedule of events for the day. Pick and choose what is best for you and interests you the most. I recommend mixing things up and not spending each hour attending a lecture or you’ll feel like you are back in college. Attend open discussions, take a yoga class or attend a more scientific discussion and then something lighter and less scientific like a woman’s networking group or a discussion on exercise and fitness.

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Comments 1 comment

HLK 5 years ago

Sounds like a great organization.........

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