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Robin31's Story

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"I joined this community in the hope of helping someone that is trying to make a decision about genetic testing. In January of 2013, I read an article on the NIH website about BRCA testing. I made an appointment with my doctor and asked for the test. After confirming that my insurance would cover the expense, I had it done. I was pretty worried about it.

"At the time my mother was is the middle of her battle with breast cancer, and I had already lost every other female member in my family to either breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

"A couple months later I got a phone call from my doctor stating my results were negative. It was such a relief. I remember my husband taking me out for supper to celebrate. Two days later the phone rang again, it was the nurse asking me to come in the next morning and speak with the doctor. I didn't understand what was going on. I called my mom and asked her to go with me and the next morning I found out that they had misread my results. I was the first patient in their office to have the test done. It turned out I was negative for BRCA1 but positive for BRCA2. My mother broke down. She cried for me and I cried for her.

"After that I saw a surgeon for a consult. The rest of that year was spent seeing my mother through the end of her battle with this disease. She died on Feb 2, 2014 (Super Bowl Sunday) at 12:05 p.m.

"On April 14, 2014 I underwent bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. My risk of breast cancer went from 87% down to 1%. I opted for nipple removal and reconstruction. The surgery was tough. It took 7 hours, 6 days in the hospital, physical therapy and ultimately 2 more surgeries to get the finished result.

"It was a tough decision, but in the end I couldn't take the chance of leaving my sons without a mother. I couldn't watch them go through what I went through with my own mother. This summer I will have the hysterectomy done and complete this chapter in my life. In my case, the decision was the best I have ever made. My breasts appear real and though there are spots I can not feel, for the most part they are just like my old ones. I ask myself everyday if it was worth it and the answer has always been yes."

-- Robin31, tested positive for BRCA2 genetic mutation

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