It seems that everyone knows someone who has cancer. I was no different, there were several parents at my school over the years that I have known to get breast cancer and live through it. But then it was my mom who had cancer and that is where my journey began.When I got the phone call that November afternoon, I knew it was bad news. I couldn't get the phone right away so I let it go to voicemail. Then, I heard it ring again, and again. I knew that my parents were calling and needed to talk to me. My Dad could hardly speak and my mom literally could not speak at all. My heart sank and I immediately cried. Dan came home right away and we were able to get head to NC immediately to be with my family.
At first, it seemed like this was no big deal. She'd need a lump-ectomy and maybe some radiation. At more testing was completed we knew that not to be the case. Then, the big news that really hit home was that she was a BRCA 2 carrier. Which means, she is genetically pre-disposed to get breast and ovarian cancer. After that news, it was obvious a double mactectomy was in order to prevent the cancer from returning. She will also have her ovaries removed in a few months. A few months ago, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a "cancer" gene and I certainly had no concerns that I might be carrying it. Oh, how much things can change in a matter of a few months.
As far as my mom goes, she has under gone a double mastectomy and double removal of lymph nodes. She will begin chemo-therapy on February 6th. She has a 24 week course of chemo to start and then perhaps radiation, also. She is not able to go through reconstructive surgery for quite some time.
When the news came back that she had the gene for breast cancer, I still did not quite process the implications for me and my sister. After it set in a little bit, I realized I, too could be carrying this gene and that I needed to be tested right away. I know many people have trouble with the decision but this is an easy one for me. I've seen what my mom has gone through and I certainly don't want to go have the same experience.