December 2014: Genetic Test Results

It seems like forever ago when I was initially tested for several gene mutations. Although we had been told preliminary results showed two potential gene mutations, the final results showed only one to be concerning – BRAC2. The other is called a RAD51C variance. 

What does that mean? How does that change things?

I tested positive for the BRAC2 gene mutation which basically means I was born with a much higher risk of getting cancer. I could have lived the perfect life, ate perfectly, covered myself in essential oils, and lived in China my entire life and chances are I still would be going through all of this. 

I could throw a fit and yell, “Life’s not fair!” but what would that actually solve? Absolutely nothing! Instead, I have a very different outlook. 

One out of eight women are said to develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Only a small fraction of all of us who’ve been diagnosed will actually test positive for the mutated gene. That means most women have no clue why they got the disease. I know why I did. For some reason, that brings me a lot of peace. I’ve always been that person who wants to know the “why” behind everything. If you can explain the “why” in a way that makes sense to me, I’m a lot easier to deal with. I was born predestined to get cancer. Okay. Got it. Now, let’s make sure all those mutated genes are dead and gone. Now, chemo makes even more sense. I still don’t want to go back though. 

Can they promise me I won’t get another form of cancer? No. In fact, I’m more prone for some others. It means I have to be tested in a totally different way and more often. So what? That’s not the end of the world. I can live with that. I’ll probably have to make some tough decisions about the rest of my girly parts in the near future. No fun. Not cool, but once again, not the end of the world. And this time I know it’s coming. I can prepare myself better. I get to be in control of this surgery. I guess that helps the control freak side of me. 

It also means my daddy carried the mutated gene. It makes more sense now why he too developed cancer at a younger age. There’s no one gene that points to his kind of cancer, but the mutated gene weakens the body’s defense system to recognize good cells from bad cells, so our bodies attack everything. 

UPDATE: Since I wrote this, 2 of my aunts & my baby sister have all tested positive for the BRAC2 gene. One of my aunts is currently battling breast cancer right along side me. My younger sister is still awaiting her results. My older sister and my other aunt both tested negative for the gene. 

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About courage2conquercancer

At the age of 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is an account of my journey from my discovery and beyond.
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