Friday, December 30, 2011

You are done having kids, right?

I had my OB appointment which has gotten the ball rolling as far as genetic testing goes. I have paperwork proving my mother has the gene so the process (getting insurance to pay) is fairly easy for me. My OB referred me a breast surgical group that coincidentally I was already a patient at (for breastfeeding issues). I like my OB, been with her for years, but I was a bit taken aback when we discussed the BRCA gene and its implications. She basically told me that if I do in fact have the BRCA gene then I should have my ovaries removed immediately. I think at some point I had told her I was done having kids (don't we all say that when we are 9 months pregnant?!?) and so she just assumed my decision was final and that I wouldn't be "needing" my ovaries anymore. GASP! I was in shock. I asked why the rush and her quote exactly was, "you are like a ticking time bomb if you have the BRCA gene". Ugh. That was not the news I needed. I left in a panic and immediately starting questioning myself. Am I done? Do I only want two kids? I know Dan has always been open to a third but I never really was. But, then sweet Carter came along and brightened our lives..why wouldn't I want another? Since that moment with my OB I have been in total confusion. I am not sure since I just had a baby quite recently that this time in my life is the best time to make that decision. If I don't feel 100% sure why make that choice. Anyway, I do not know if I have the gene or not but these are decisions that I surely hope I don't have to make.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not MY Mom!

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.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And so it begins. . .

You would think being a counselor that I would like to talk about my feelings. For some reason, I don't feel like talking about this. I feel like writing about it. I am starting back a few months with the sad news that started this whole journey for me. I hope to keep it updated along the way so that I can share my good (and bad) experiences. I do not worry about anything. Sometimes, I think I should worry more. I leave my car doors unlocked, I drive around with the gas light on, I just assume the best of every situation. So in keeping with the blog address: I do not want you to worry about me, either.