Positive for the Breast Cancer Gene

Thursday, May 29, 2014


"So I got the lab results back for your genetic test, and unfortunately it isn't the news I was hoping to give you. You tested positive for the breast cancer gene."

Damn.

"It's the BRCA2 gene that your mom has. Since you tested positive we will be doing screenings every 6 months, switching between mammograms and MRI's. And then when you turn 35 or when you are done having kids they will want to take out your ovaries because BRCA2 increases your risk of ovarian cancer... and you'll have the option to do a preventative mastectomy then as well." I guess me and Angelina Jolie have more in common than I thought.

Welp. That's that isn't it. I had a 50/50 chance of getting it... but I really was hoping I was in the other 50%. I do have to remember what one of my doctors said about having the genetic test performed... "Having the test done is a blessing either way. It's a blessing if you test negative, and it's a blessing if we know you test positive for it. That way we will know you have it and will monitor you closely and do everything we can to prevent you from getting cancer."

When I told people that my mom (who was diagnosed with breast cancer last October) tested positive for the breast cancer gene they immediately would ask me if I was scared to get tested myself. "I don't know if I would want to know!" someone said. I never understood that, "Why wouldn't you want to know" I would think to myself. "I'm not scared at all, it's better for me to know."

I didn't expect to cry when I told my husband the results. I didn't expect to choke up when I thought about how sad my mom would be when she found out. I didn't expect a friend to cry when she heard the results.

I didn't expect to struggle at all when telling people the results of the genetic test, but I found myself looking away from them in an attempt to hide any expression that would show them my disappointment.

Well, I've had my cry. I've had my sorrow. I've accepted it. And... I'm ready to punch cancer in the face. You've taken my great grandma, you've taken my mom's mom, you've taken my dad's mom, you tried to take my mom but you lost, and you sure as heck won't ever take me.

If anything, knowing I'm positive for the gene gives me so much more motivation to live a healthy lifestyle. Each step while running is a step to a healthier body that won't let cancer thrive in it and each bite of whole foods will give me antioxidants to fight off free radicals that can cause cancer.
I'm glad I know that I'm positive for the gene, because now I can do everything in my power to decrease my risk of getting breast cancer. Knowledge is power and knowing this IS a blessing.





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