"I've had about a week to process that I came back positive for both BRCA1 and Lynch Syndrome (this is a mutation sequence associated with colon and digestive and reproductive cancers) and have appointments being scheduled for getting 'scooped and sliced,' as we're terming it at our house. We're looking at a double mastectomy and a full hysterectomy and removal of my ovaries in the attempt to reduce my cancer risk. This diagnosis was not a surprise, as several of my beautiful cousins have already tested positive for the mutation and two have developed aggressive breast cancers at young ages (younger than 40). My mother and all of her sisters are also breast cancer survivors, but the disease took my sweet grandmother and aunt, so I am all too familiar with what this disease can do to a person.
"Either reality hasn't sunk in yet, or I am more pragmatic than I thought because right now, my only worry is making sure all the paperwork and insurance billing is correctly sorted out. I suspect that as things get more real and I move toward surgery, this sense of numbness will leave me. I'm 42, the mom of two great teenagers (both boys) and an awesome husband.
"Ironically (if such a thing exists) I already knew about Breastcancer.org because I came to the community to learn from other women who were going through what my mother was. I was, and am, still so grateful for the feedback that was given. It helped my mother make it through her journey into remission and now as I try and take preventative measures, I know that my questions and concerns are being shared with the right group of people. <3"
- What led you to doing the testing? "Multiple women on both sides of the family with breast cancer and due to them being tested, I know that the mutation for sure is on my father's side."
- What were your results, and what choices have you made based on the findings? "I am BRCA1 positive. Due to this and the fact that I also tested positive for Lynch Syndrome, I am getting a double mastectomy and a full hysterectomy and removal of my ovaries in the attempt to reduce my cancer risk."
- Was payment an issue? "No, I have first and multiple second degree family members with the disease, the testing was covered by insurance."
- Have you discussed these decisions with your family? "Absolutely. I'm an open book most of the time anyway, and I think that education and transparency when it comes to genetic testing and cancer prevention is critical so that my family has the best possible data to make the best possible decisions for themselves."
- What suggestions would you have for others? "While I respect a difference in opinion when it comes to the pros and cons of genetic testing, for me, knowing what I am dealing with on a genetic level is far [more] preferable to worrying whether or not something is lurking in my DNA. :)"
-- MightyMightyMunsonMama, tested positive for BRCA1 genetic mutation and Lynch Syndrome genetic mutation sequence