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Welcome Charlene “Shar”! My Story, My Journey, My Testimony

Lacuna Loft is excited to continue introducing more young adult voices! These great folks represent a variety of perspectives on the myriad of topics covered here at Lacuna Loft. Before everyone starts really getting into the nitty-gritty of all they have to say, we wanted to introduce them a bit. Without further ado, here is Charlene!

Hello All! My name is Charlene and I am a wife, a mom of 3 amazing kids (ages 23, 14, and 4) and a 2x breast cancer SURVIVOR. I was diagnosed February 1, 2013, a couple of weeks before my birthday. Some birthday present huh! My cancer was ER/PR positive in the left breast. I was diagnosed very early so I had options, either a lumpectomy with radiation or mastectomy. I chose the latter. You see, my mom is also a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at ages 32 and 65, so that played a big role in my decision. We are both did genetic testing and tested BRCA negative, so I decided to just have a single mastectomy. I was trying to save what I thought was a healthy right boob (to my surprise not so much). I had immediate reconstruction, I went with a TRAM flap. Somehow, after all of that surgery, I felt that I should have just gone ahead and done a bilateral mastectomy rather than the single. I knew in my soul that something just wasn’t right.  After having my mastectomy and recon on April 1, 2013, I had breast reduction on the right breast only to find out that there was cancer in that breast as well. My right breast was Triple Negative (TNBC). So 20 days after having a brand new perky boob, I was back in surgery to have my second mastectomy, again with immediate reconstruction. This time with my reconstruction I had to go with a LAT flap (latissimus dorsi). Since then I’ve had a ton of surgeries, from implants to revisions, I have about half a dozen scars to show for it. I’m not ashamed of my scars, I have come to embrace them. They are apart of who I have become, behind my scars is my story, my journey, my testimony. Breast cancer has forever changed me, and it is my goal to be an inspiration to others. I am my sister’s keeper!