Breast Cancer

Joy Brauer quote, "Encourage women to listen to their bodies and get mammograms. You never know what tomorrow will bring".At the time, Joy Brauer, a 35-year-old mother of three, didn’t think the achy feeling in her left breast would lead her to meet with Breast Surgical Oncologist, Monique A. Gary, DO. After all, she was hopeful the pain had something to do with her menstrual cycle. To be safe, she followed her OB/GYN’s recommendation and had a mammogram and ultrasound.

Nothing was found in her left breast; however, a small cluster of calcifications was seen in her right breast, which in Joy’s case indicated early stage breast cancer. Given her young age, Joy decided to undergo a bilateral nipple-sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with Dr. Gary. Three small yet significant reasons all under the age of seven helped her arrive at this decision — her children Samuel, Julia and Benjamin.

Four months after surgery, Joy walked down the aisle in her sister’s wedding and marched forward in life with confidence in her health and a bright future with her family.

“My kids were on my mind throughout this entire journey,” recalled Joy. “I would like to encourage other women to listen to their bodies and get their mammograms. Most of all, live life fully and hug your kids a little longer each day, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.


Monique A. Gary, DO

Breast Surgical Oncologist
Grand View Surgical Associates