It’s now been a week since I learned that I tested positive for BRCA 1 and 2 gene mutation which significantly increases a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. On my mother’s side of the family, we learned that both her father’s and mother’s family lost women to ovarian cancer, including my grandmother and her mother. When my mother and one of my sisters tested positive, I decided I would get the test as well.
Ever the optimist, I hoped that I would be lucky since on my father’s side of the family, no one had cancer. Unfortunately, I ended up with the gene mutation and a big decision. Or maybe not so big, depending on how you think about things. My doctor strongly recommended ovary removal. Since she practices integrative medicine, I’ve always found her to be conservative when it comes to invasive procedures. If there is a natural way of healing and protecting one’s body, she prefers to start with that. However, she was quite firm about taking pre-emptive action as soon as possible; so we’re looking at early November for surgery. So, now my schedule includes an surgical consult and working around surgery and recovery.
I didn’t think I’d be emotional about this; after all, I am healthy right now, but I found myself tearful when I received the news. In that moment, I thought about rolling the dice and not having the surgery, (I’m not a fan of hospitals at all) and wondered about the accuracy of the saliva test I took in June to determine whether I had the gene mutation. I mainly thought of my daughter who just lost her father last October. I thought about my former husband’s suffering and the difficulties that illness of this type cause families. It’s one thing if illness happens—that’s life—but if it can be prevented…I guess that’s where I ended up, wanting to prevent suffering, as much as possible, for my loved ones.
I’m not a fan of the medical machine, and the farther I can stay away from it, the better. I try to do what I can do to support my health through diet, exercise and emotional self-care. I want us, as a community, to support each other in living the healthiest, most vibrant lives we can. So, yes…
To learn more about this the BRACA 1 and 2 gene mutation click HERE
To learn more about ovary removal surgery click HERE
I’d love to hear from those of you who’ve traveled this path, what decision did you make? What did you learn? What can you share with our community?