I am totally like part of the X-Men now, but not. I’ve always said that Wolverine had something going for him, but I suppose I was just attracted to the muscles. But seriously, I would say I am more like a cross between Magneto and Dr. Xavier. Have I lost you yet?
No seriously, I say I am a mutant because I had my meeting with the genetic counselor today. He confirmed the BRCA2 diagnosis and was also able to tell me that I have tested negative for many other genetic disorders- mainly other cancers. That’s not to say that down the line when I am like 80 I won’t develop something, but as of now he cannot foresee this in my future. It does mean that I have the gene that somewhere along the line mutated into cancer. Unfortunately science isn’t far enough to figure out why or when it mutated but it did. The good thing to know is that it is not because of the oral contraceptives that I took for 20 years, that was a huge worry for me.
What I did find out, was that with BRCA2, I am at a higher risk as we know of developing Ovarian Cancer. The good thing is that there is a very LOW risk of it, nearly around .02% that I would get it by age 40. It does go up to a 23% chance by age 80 though, meaning that there is an ever so slight chance of it developing.
This is where I have to make the tough choices. Do I go ahead and have my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in the next 5 years? Do I wait and just get proactive twice yearly screenings? The scary part is that screening for Ovarian Cancer is not reliable, that is why so many women find out too late. There is a blood test and a transvaginal ultrasound (ladies we had these when we were newly pregnant), the latter is not super comfortable but if it saves a life its worth the pain, right? There are risks to remove my ovaries and tubes of course, one being going into surgical menopause. Sounds great, but it does bring increased issues such as a risk for cardiac problems and osteoporosis. The perk? No period. Being 35 I clearly have time to make these decisions, but then again I don’t have much time.
Another Cancer flag that was raised was my risk of Melanoma. I had no idea that BRCA2 is associated with that. It is a risk for my skin as well as Ocular (eye) cancer. Being that I am vigilant in my skin and eye exams, I shouldn’t have to worry about this for a long time if at all.
Sorry for being totally scientific and unfunny today, it is a bit of a heavy subject. Many of you had questions so I hope this answers some. It is a lot to digest and I am pretty on edge today because of it. It was an emotional day regardless, and I have to remember that those around me LOVE me and are here for support. I need to not take everything out on those close, as none of this is their fault. It is now apparent that it is all Dr. Charles Xavier, or just my fucking fucked up genes.