Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Journey Begins . . . . .

Well, the journey actually started a few months ago when I decided to get genetic counseling and testing done.  Being told you have tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation now begins a new journey of thinking, analyzing, and taking steps to reduce the risk of breast cancer. 

Today I met with a surgeon at the Breast Center of Mayo Clinic.  I liked her, and I liked what she had to say.  It helped put my mind at ease about this decision.

She is only part of the team.  The next step is meeting with one of the plastic surgeons that she works with - they have a team approach at the Mayo Clinic.  They have worked together on many surgeries, and while most of my questions involve the reconstruction options, I was able to get some of the questions answered today.

The date has not been set yet, but it looks like the start of the new year will be the start of a new me!  There are many aspects of this journey that scare me, but after seeing everything my Mom went through over the years, I truly believe a good attitude and Ted's support will get me through any rough times.  I'm going into this with the attitude that I'm going to beat breast cancer before it comes knocking at the door.  And with an 87% chance of getting breast cancer because of the BRCA2+ diagnosis, it will come knocking. 

An MRI will be scheduled soon to be sure that there is nothing lurking around in the breasts before surgery.  And, of course, they will do other pre-op blood work, EKG, etc.

I also agreed to be part of a study that this breast surgeon is doing.  It involves letting them keep some of the breast tissue in their lab (on a slide) for future study (as well as some blood).  In addition to studying breast tissue that has cancer, they are interested in non-cancerous breast tissue from people who test positive for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation.   So, as a bonus, I'm contributing to future research in this study!

Happy Thanksgiving!


3 comments:

  1. Information is power! I think it is great that you can also participate in the research study. One more way to help others! I am so inspired by your courage!

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  2. I applaud your decision, I know it was not an easy one but the old saying holds true...an ounce of prevention...sure it's going to he scary, but your mom will and has been there with you every step of the way. would it that this type of testing could have been done in her days. I know you will get thru this and pass this; and you are right, its the worry ...if.... that would end up causing more harm than not. and I think its way awesome of you to assist in the study; your mom and aunt phyliss are proud as can be of their girl. hugs and love from me to you ~~~

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  3. You are a very brave person. I am proud to know you. I will be with you in spirit.

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