10 real feels after the worst breakup there is



When most people talk about breakups they are usually talking about losing the significant other they were dating. This post isn’t about that. It is about losing my absolute best friend. Her name is Alanna Marie Nagi. I met this beautiful girl when I was in third grade. We grew up together. From sleepovers, to talking about our first crushes, through the awkward stages of puberty to the young women we became, she was always by my side. Losing a best friend is one of the worst breakups there is. Here are 10 real feels that come with losing your person.

1.  The never ending gut-wrenching feeling of a breakup

We all know what this feeling is. The feeling that someone punched you in the stomach. That feeling like you want to cry but no more tears will come out. That feeling of emptiness because you know life will never be the same again. This feeling is always there.

2. Everything reminds you of her

Everything reminds me of you. Whether it is elephant anything, mac and cheese, the color purple, one of your favorite songs, someone we know or the places we went, you are always here. I am blessed for this because it means you’re still here, but my heart also hurts because it means we don’t get to do all of those things together anymore. I miss talking about boys with you or receiving snapchats of you at target people watching. Thank you for the little reminders that you are still here.

3. Roles are reversed

I am still very protective over you. I still watch over your Facebook, look out for your family and make sure people only say nice things about you. It has always been this way. But as life goes on I will also learn that our roles are reversed now. You will now be my protector in life. You are my guardian angel. I will try to remember this and live life in a way that I know you would want me to.

4. Living life in extremes

I will be very productive sometimes. I will get everything accomplished before 3 p.m. Other days I cannot get out of bed or stop crying at work.

5. The feeling of regret

I regret so many things. I wish we had seen each other more. I wish I had made it to your 21st birthday. I wish I was there more in general. I wish I could have protected you on that day. I wish I could call you right now. Life is so short. This has taught me not to take advantage of time here on earth. You never know when it will be your last.

6. Never settling

I feel like I need to live life for both of us, so I will not settle. We talked about our wedding days and finding the right guy. I always knew nobody here on earth would be good enough for you. Your soul mate is an angel in heaven. I will not settle for someone you would not approve of. I know that on the day God blesses me with my soul mate that you will be with me. You will still be by my side in every way that counts. I love you and thank you for always pushing me to be the best me I could be.

7. Little things people complain about make you want to punch them

When people complain about their dog eating their shoes or losing their favorite shirt, I just want to punch them. There are so many more important things in the world than the first world problems people have to post on social media. Think about what the person next to you may be going through before you post about your lost shoe on Facebook.

8.  Shutting down 

It is easy to shut down. It is easy to hide all emotions. It is easy to hide yourself from the world. It is easy to disappear. I have shut down a few times. I have had days where I can’t get out of bed. But I just have to remember to keep going. I go out into the world with a smile on my face. The world would never know I lost you at times. This really makes me aware of what others must be going through. We are so good at pretending we are okay when inside we are completely broken.

9. Asking God, why her!?

I have been resentful towards God lately. I have asked him why you, why you?! The one person who I told everything to. Why did you take my person. But I know this is selfish and I am just saying this because I love her. God lends us his daughters and his sons until their mission is complete. Alanna you are a beautiful soul who always put a smile on everyones face. I know you are with Jesus and God now. You are in the most beautiful place there is. Thank you for being by my side through every step in life. I miss you so much. Thank you for keeping my faith strong during a hard time.

10. The feeling of wanting to be alone but also not wanting to miss out on life

I feel like I need to be alone. Like nobody understands. You were the one person who would. The one person I would call right now. You were a good friend, a great person and had such a kind heart. I miss my person. I will try to help others during this time because I know that is what you would do.

This is not goodbye, this is see you later. Miss you everyday best friend.



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5 Ways to Take Control of your BRCA Positive Status

  1. Be Proactive About your Health– Finding out that you are positive for a BRCA gene mutation is a very emotional time. Be sure to check in with your doctors to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to be proactive about your health.
  2. Know your Family History- Knowing your family history will help you decide what steps to take when it comes to personal and medical decisions.
  3. Cascade Screening- Successfully letting other family members know about the BRCA gene mutation will save lives. Knowledge is power!
  4. Live a Healthy Lifestyle– Okay we all know you can’t trump genes… but you can try! Live a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to exercise regularly and decrease your sugar and alcohol intake.
  5. Take Action/Reach out for Support- Take action by starting a BRCAn’t Stop Me organization at your college or university or attend monthly support meetings at your local Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered branch. To start a BRCAn’t Stop Me of your own contact brcantstopme@gmail.com. These organizations provide support and information to individuals who have or are affected by a BRCA gene mutation.
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How to bring up the C word during the holidays

The C word is always a difficult word to bring up, especially during the holidays. I am talking about the word that kills 1,500 Americans each day, cancer. Cancer is a word that most people do not want to think about let alone say during the holidays.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of year full of laughs and light conversations. But what if one serious conversation could save half of your family’s lives?

One in nine Michigan women have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. And one out of every 10 cases of breast cancer is hereditary.

What if one of the women sitting across from you tomorrow during Thanksgiving dinner has a gene mutation that will give them breast cancer next year?

A conversation may bring up painful memories but it could also prevent more painful memories from occurring.

We may not have a cure for cancer, we may not be able to trump genes, but we can fight. We can fight this word that takes away our moms, our sisters, our aunts and our wives.

We can fight hereditary cancer with early detection and prevention methods.

It starts out with questions like:

Do we have a family history of cancer?

What kind of cancer did Grandma have? Did her mom have cancer?

A conversation like this is the reason my mom is here today.

My great aunt was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and was also diagnosed with a positive BRCA 2 gene mutation.

I thank her and God everyday that she shared this information with my family. By sharing this information with my family, my grandma, my mom, myself and many other family members were able to find out they were positive for this gene mutation.

My mom made the difficult decision to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy after receiving her positive BRCA 2 diagnosis. We found out after her prophylactic mastectomy that if she hadn’t had the surgery she would have had breast cancer in the next five years…

This was the moment when I realized this gene mutation isn’t something to mess around with. My mom’s doctor told her that her cells were already starting to change.

A conversation that may have been difficult and uncomfortable is what saved my mom from a future where the C word exists.

It all starts with a simple conversation.

This Thanksgiving I urge all of you to have this conversation. You never know if it may be the conversation that saves your mom’s life, your grandma’s life, your aunt’s life, your sister’s life, or even your life.



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Wear Pink or Think Pink… What Does This Really Mean?


As we all know it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and everyone is wearing pink…but instead of just wearing pink, I challenge you to think pink. When I say think pink I mean  think about prevention and early detection of breast cancer. Look up breast cancer symptoms, talk about your family history of breast cancer, learn about the BRCA gene mutation and or how to perform a breast self-exam.

Ladies I am sure that you all have heard about breast self-exams, but how many of you actually do them? Think about it!

I know, thinking about this is sort of uncomfortable and talking about this subject can be even more uncomfortable. But I have to question…. why. Seriously why is talking about performing a breast self-exam an uncomfortable topic?! Let’s talk about this.

Before I had my first clinical breast exam or breast MRI I have to be honest, this subject made me a little comfortable…Actually very uncomfortable.

I would see signs saying, “Save the Boobies” or “Save the Ta Tas” and would feel that this was too blunt or that it needed to be worded more appropriately. I would think, Why would anyone write out the word “boobs”! That is so inappropriate and sexualizes women!

Now my feelings towards this topic have completely changed. No woman or man should ever feel ashamed about talking about being proactive in their health. Women and Men can get breast cancer and unfortunately there is no cure!!! The only way we can save lives is by performing these breast self-exams and by discussing our family histories to see if a genetic mutation may exist in the family.

As a BRCA positive individual when I  see a sign that says, “Save the Boobs,” I still think it sexualizes women because society thinks that saving a woman’s breasts are of the most importance when thinking about breast cancer… Well let me tell you this. I don’t like my boobs a lot of the time. I actually resent them. I resent them because I know they could hurt my health, could take me away from my future family, and could possibly take my life. A woman with a positive BRCA diagnosis can have up to an 87% chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime! I encourage you to no longer use the phrase, “Save the Ta Tas”. Instead, please use the phrase, “Save the Woman.” These previvors and survivors are much more important. They are warriors. Women go through the emotional loss of losing a body part that has defined part of their sexuality for such a long time, but at the end of the day they are a stronger woman for having gone through this experience. We shouldn’t be focusing so much of our energy  on saving a woman’s boobs, we should be focusing on saving her life!

Why is breast cancer even defined as a woman’s disease. Every person, man or woman, has breast tissue. I don’t care how fit you are men, you have breast tissue.  A man who has breast cancer doesn’t make him less of a man. It makes him a warrior. We need to stop associating this disease with sexuality and speak about it the way it is. It is cancer. In other words it is evil, it is harmful and it does not discriminate.

So I challenge you to think about ways to detect cancer early, to stop sexualizing this disease and to feel comfortable talking about self breast-exams, because once we do this, we can continue saving more lives.

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5 things not to say to us mutants

Yes, having a gene mutation that increases our risk of cancer is scary. I know this may come as a surprise to a lot of people…. BUT WE ALREADY KNOW THIS. Many of us who are diagnosed with this gene mutation become experts at all things hereditary cancer related. We do our research, we spend numerous hours a day researching preventive measures we should take, and believe it or not, a lot of us have already planned the next 10 years of our lives…Okay maybe not 1o but at least 5  lol. We know many people have an opinion on our positive BRCA status and on our decisions to be proactive about our health. Here are 5 phrases that you may want to rethink before saying them to us.

1. Aren’t you scared?

Well duh I am scared! I have a gene mutation that makes getting cancer a high possibility in my lifetime. I am actually terrified at times. But I am doing everything I can at this time to prevent myself from getting cancer. Instead of asking me aren’t you scared?, a better question may be how are you doing with your recent positive BRCA diagnosis?

2. Why would you want to know?/ Why would you cause yourself this much stress? 

Now these are two questions but they go together. I am often asked, “why were you genetically tested” followed by “why would you cause yourself to be this stressed out?!”

My answer to these questions are because being ignorant is not the solution to this problem. I was WAY more stressed not knowing whether or not I have this increased risk of cancer. Now that I know, I can be proactive. I undergo surveillance that would not be covered by my insurance if I had not undergone genetic testing.

3. You are being paranoid.

If you had this increased risk of getting breast cancer in your lifetime, I think you would be a little paranoid too. Some BRCA carriers have up to an 87% chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime. Telling us we are paranoid is offensive to us mutants. Yes, we may overthink things and may perform one too may self breast exams… But we are just terrified of getting cancer. It is better to be overly conscious when you are in our position.

4. Why would you mutilate your body!? Guys aren’t going to be attracted to you.

Now hold up…. Did you actually just say this?! Hmmm what am I more concerned about saving my life? or what superficial men think about me?… I think saving my life. Prophylactic surgeries are the only for sure way to ensure that your risk of getting breast cancer in your lifetime is decreased. I have heard these comments said to my loved ones, and it makes me sick. Put yourself in the other persons shoes for just one minute. Yes this is a difficult and emotional decision, but it is a necessary precaution to take to save one’s life when having a mutated BRCA gene. These women are warriors. We are some of the strongest and most courageous women you will ever meet.

5. You are overreacting.

Yes it may seem like we are overreacting, but many of us are just trying to prevent ourselves from having the same future our mothers, sisters, and grandmothers had. That future involved CANCER. Cancer, the disease created by the devil himself, has taken too many loved ones from us. We want to be there for our families, and are not ready to be taken away by this hideous disease. That is why we do surveillance. That is why we get genetically tested, why we have prophylactic surgeries, why we are so upset when nobody will listen to us, and why we are so passionate about hereditary cancer awareness. We aren’t overreacting, we are scared, we are passionate, and we want to save lives! But most of all we want a cure!


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I don’t know about you… But I am not feeling 22.

Unlike Taylor Swift’s hit song, 22… I do not quite feel 22.

When you have a BRCA gene mutation it makes you think about life in a different way. Instead of thinking about dating and going out with friends, I am thinking what age will I be married? Have children? and get my prophylactic surgeries so that I can prevent cancer from occurring? At times, it feels as if my life is on fast forward.

Life is no longer simple and carefree. At times this can be really UPSETTING. Other times I feel BLESSED to have this new mindset. It is sad that life isn’t carefree and simple anymore, but if it were I would be missing out on my new life. I am now enriched with a strong sense of faith, a strong support system and a new sense of motivation I lacked before.

Once I found out about my BRCA gene mutation I decided that I would make it my mission to inform young individuals about hereditary cancers… Well it wasn’t long before I found out that many college students are either very judgmental or don’t want to hear about the BRCA gene mutation … Now, this is something I do not understand. Why is it that when news is somewhat upsetting or difficult to understand society rejects the information and would rather remain clueless?! I have received many different responses to my speal on hereditary cancer awareness.. Everything from blank stares to,

“Why would I want to know this information, why do you know this information!? Aren’t you just stressed out?”

Oh and my favorite!

“YOU WOULD REALLY CHOP YOUR BOOBS OFF? ARE YOU CRAZY!! Isn’t that a bit dramatic?”….

No I am not crazy, I would be crazy to keep something that may kill me.

Of course I hope that there are alternatives in the future, but if there aren’t, prophylactic surgeries will be in my future.

Some may feel that having a BRCA gene mutation would make one feel weird and alone, but I am not alone. I have the most amazing support system. Thank you BRCAn’t Stop Me for understanding and being there every step of the way!

Support and understanding is everything!

All my love!


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God’s Plan

I live each day knowing that God is by my side. Faith is what gets me through life’s challenges. When I am with God I am at peace. To my fellow Previvors who may be going through tough times right now, remember:

Tears are prayers too. They travel to God when we can’t speak. Psalm 56:8

I have had multiple people approach me asking, “How can you be a faith based person if you do not trust in God’s plan for you?” Many people believe my decision to get tested for the BRCA gene mutation interferes with God’s plans for me.

I have one simple answer to this question. God does not wish for me to have cancer. He does not wish for any of us to suffer the pain cancer causes. We are his children. He has provided me with this knowledge so that my family and I can save our lives. God’s plan for me is to help others. He gave me this knowledge so that I can help others save their lives as well. God does not wish to see families torn apart because of cancer.

plans for us storm

These two bible quotes explain my feelings well. First, God plans to prosper you. Everything happens for a reason. Having a BRCA gene mutation is not fun and can be very difficult to deal with, but it has made me into the woman I am today. I appreciate life a little more everyday. I do not take as much for granted. Most of all, I am more compassionate and understanding of others. I am blessed to have a better understanding of life and to have a stronger sense of faith.

Next, God’s storms will not end in devastation. There is a reason for everything, we just do not know that reason yet. Many of us have been devastated by disease and death. We wonder why and how, “God could let this happen.” There is a reason for all of this and it is just too complex for us to understand. Having faith is what we as God’s children have to do. Have faith in his plan and know that God is with you.

I know that not everyone is a faithful person, and I respect everyone’s views.

For me, God is the answer. Faith is what helps me live up to my potential.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13

All my love,

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