Sunday, November 25, 2012

More Thoughts on BRCA

When the doctor I recently went to mentioned
the BRCA tests, she made it sound like what
was being "offered" was a "fix." She made it
sound as simple as going out to the store to
pick up something. She even touted firm
breasts as a result of surgery.

While firm breasts sound lovely, it is sort of
like my hair. Yes I have some decent wigs, but
I would much rather have my own hair.

I was asked by one of my sisters if I was dead set
against the idea/surgery. I told her at this time, I
am not interested. I also said that there were
things I was not willing to do before, that I
wound up changing my mind on. So who knows
if I will think otherwise about this issue at some

My sister essentially said she was more
"attached" to being here for her kids than
she is to her breasts. So...if it was her
choice/decision to make, she would have
the surgery.

A part of me is not particularly happy about
anyone knowing what is up. I feel like people
who know will make judgments and
assessments that do not help me, or potentially
our relationship.

I could potentially see someone not getting the
test, but winding up with cancer only to have
those who knew what was going on having an
"I told you so" or "it's your own fault" type of

So...here is the thing. I did a bit of research.
If you know me, I prefer not to know too much.
I really don't like to fill my head with the types
of things that only wind up scaring me.

First off, even if I have the gene, it does not
mean a sister does. So even if I found out that
I had it, it would not necessarily be of any
benefit to anyone else.

Secondly, someone who has the gene, also
apparently runs the risk of other cancers, as
well, but you don't see people running to remove
those other body parts.

Thirdly, and quite interestingly, just because
you remove your breasts does not mean you
will not get breast cancer. Apparently surgery
removes a lot, but there is a chance, and
likelihood, that not every cell that could have
the potential of breast cancer will be removed.

Fourth, it seems that estrogen is a major player
when it comes to breast cancer. Apparently
the longer a woman is exposed to it, the more
likely is cancer. Having one's ovaries
removed is actually quite helpful in reducing
one's risk. Well...I no longer have ovaries.

It seems to me that there is a significant case
for my non reactionary interest in finding out
if I have the gene. Even if I found out, I do not
believe it would change a thing.

In addition, for the next two years I am going
to be watched closely with visits every 3 months.
If anything was to show up, I would likely know
pretty early. After the two years, we will see
what happens.

In the meantime, the thing I know, and am
crystal clear about, is that I need to keep doing
things to take care of myself. I need to continue
to sort through things. I need to keep exploring
and growing and learning.

And, even though it likely held true before, it
is very clear now, that I need to do all these
things like my life depended on it...because
it quite possibly does.

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