- Posted October 5, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tested for the breast cancer gene?
Staying a Previvor
My Mom called me in July 2010. Her radiologist had found a suspicious shadow during a routine mammogram. It was cancer. My aunt had passed away from breast cancer at the age of 39. My mom was diagnosed at age 51. Given the young ages of diagnosis, her doctor recommended she get tested for the BRCA mutation. I am eternally grateful she did. People with this mutation have up to an 87% chance of breast cancer and 60% chance of ovarian cancer.
Once she came back positive, I was tested as soon as I could get into my doctor. When she called me with the results, I felt empowered. I was not going to look at this as a "death sentence". This was an opportunity to live a longer life, because I knew I had this gene and I could fight it. I was determined to win. i felt grateful there were preventative options.
My husband (who has been and continues to be my rock) and I had a son, and knew we wanted to have another child before I had any surgeries. We became pregnant in 2011 and our daughter was born in February 2012. I am nursing her for a year and in late March/early April 2013 I will have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, followed by reconstruction. My doctor feels that most ovarian cancers actually start in the fallopian tubes, so I will have those removed as well. My ovaries will stay in, as having them removed at my age (32) puts me at a huge risk of heart disease and stroke.
I'm not concerned with losing my breasts, I never really liked them much to begin with. After meeting with my plastic surgeon, I'm excited about what the new me will look like next year. And you can't beat not having to worry about breast cancer like you used to! I want to show my kids that their Mommy is a fighter, and give them the confidence that they can fight and overcome any obstacles in their way.