I met with my surgeon today. It went about as I expected. She gave me more stats.
She also told me some new news that I am still processing and am feeling kind of sad about. The glitch the MRI found on the left breast apparently was also on a cat scan I had done in 2009. They went back and found it retroactively. The problem I had back in 2009 was a ruptured ovarian cyst so the technician obviously wasn’t looking at my breasts. I feel very conflicted about all this. The good news is that the glitch hasn’t changed since 2009 so they are guessing it is a cyst or something. But I am bummed that it was there at all, especially four years ago. The thought kept me up last night.
Did you know that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in her lifetime?
And that’s just regular woman on the street. The stat doesn’t even take family history into account. 1 in 8.
And BRCA. Do you know about BRCA?
It’s a genetic thing and people who have a mutation on the BRCA gene have a much higher probability of getting breast and ovarian cancer than the average Jane.
I had the test last week. See, I don’t know if many people know this but last year, around April, my birth mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s had quite an ordeal this year herself. My oncologist seems intrigued by this development of two relatively young women, mother and daughter, being diagnosed with breast cancer within a year of each other. At the end of our appointment she asked about our personal relationship…and I told her what I am going to tell you. We met 6 years ago after years of looking for each other. Our relationship is very complicated. I don’t think even we can explain it. It is also very, very personal and private and it is not something I share with many people. And I don’t feel like sharing it here.
I will also say that I am so extremely grateful that after living my first 34 years knowing almost nothing about my medical history, that finding her and learning about my genetic makeup will (hopefully) save my life. I don’t know that I would have gotten my butt to the doctor in a timely fashion had I not known my birth mother was fighting breast cancer herself. I probably would have ignored the signs. And because of what happened to my birth mother last year, I paid close attention to the signs.
So I am under age 45 and I have a close relative with breast cancer and that puts me at risk for BRCA mutations. Yes, I already have breast cancer but if I test positive for BRCA, my chance of ovarian cancer shoots up from 2% for the average woman to a whopping 25-40%. You bet your tush I took that test.
But for me, more importantly is that fact that I have sisters. Three of them. One from my birth mother’s side and two from my birth father’s side. They are all significantly younger than me so maybe my test can help them.
Still I am really rooting for my BRCA to be normal.
Really, REALLY hoping for that.
Here are my 3 big hopes for the upcoming weeks:
1. Clear lymph nodes- Everything looks pretty good on the scans but we won’t know for sure until they test them at the surgery.
2. Normal BRCA test.
3. Low ONC score after surgery.-They send it all to a lab post surgery to test and they score it. The lower the score, the better.
Please direct your thoughts toward these three goals.
I’m really scared.