I had my appointment this morning to get my results for genetic testing for the BRCA1 gene mutation.
Like my mom, I am positive. I guess I get to officially join the club. Do I get a t-shirt? In all seriousness though, it sucks.
When my genetic counselor gave my parents and me the news we all just kind sat there like, “what?” It didn’t feel real. Then emotion flooded my body. My mom put her hand on me. I couldn’t look at my parents because I knew I would lose it. So I just stared at the paper and read the word positive over and over again.
I wanted to keep my cool but tears managed to squeak out of my eyes. My hands were sweaty. I couldn’t think. All I wanted to do was keep my composure so I didn’t upset my parents. I didn’t want them to cry (even though they did). I couldn’t see them upset (even though they were). So I just sat there while my counselor talked about my next step.
Since I am choosing surveillance for now, not much will change in my life. I need to make an appointment to get a baseline MRI and/or mammogram. I will continue this monitoring along with pelvic exams until I decide to go further with cancer prevention.
Right now in my 20’s, my chances of developing breast or ovarian cancer are super low, like less than 2%. So I feel comfortable with exams for now. I am happy that my life will remain mostly normal for a while.
The thing that scares me the most is that one day down the road I will most likely decide to get my breasts and ovaries removed like my mom did. By then, I am sure the procedures will be different, hopefully better. But it is still scary to think about.
I know I’m lucky. Lucky my mom did not develop cancer and that her surgeries went well. Lucky that I got to see her go through it first, so I was better prepared. Lucky that this technology exists. Lucky that with all of these resources, I will probably not develop cancer even though this pesky gene wants to increase my chances.
Most of all, I am lucky to have my family, friends, Marcus and his family. I have an amazing group of people who love me and support me. I know my parents will always take care of me. I know Marcus always be by my side.
This is definitely not something that will rule my life. It will just something that is a part of my life. Crappy news…but it’s a beautiful day and I am going to have an amazing weekend, so I am smiling. 😀