Monday, January 3, 2011

Roller Coaster Ride

Have you ever heard that expression "My emotions are like a roller coaster"? Well, that's how I have felt since I tested positive for the BRCA 1 mutated gene. I ignored the fact that I should get tested for 3 years and now that I know I'm positive, I don't know how to act. This mutated gene is freaking me out a little. I've always been worried about my breasts, but now I have to worry about my ovaries too! Basically, I have 5 good years left to have a child, so while everyone was saying "Ahh, you're young, don't worry about having kids yet. Enjoy being married," I was right to be worried. I knew in my gut that I would have less time than the normal woman. Heck, my mom was diagnosed with her breast cancer at age 31 and that was after having two kids! They say the more kids you have, the more it can help to decrease your chances of getting breast cancer. Yeah, right! Tell that to my mother!

Before I get too far, I want to explain what decisions I have made. I have quite a few options. I could take a drug every day for 5 years (it's called Chemoprevention), I could do survellience, a combination of survellience and Chemoprevention, or I could have surgery to remove my breasts and ovaries (Prophylactic Mastectomy and Prophylactic Oophorectomy). I've decided to have my breast tissue removed. I'm not sure on the exact procedure that I will have done, but I know I want the nipple sparring procedure. It has the best cosmetic outcome and still reduces my risk by 90%. Once I have this surgery and have healed, I'm going to do everything I can to have a baby. Once I am done with having kids, or once I hit 35, I'm going to have my ovaries removed. Ovarian cancer is called the silent killer because it usually has no symptoms until in its later stages, so the sooner I have them removed, the better. The reason I'm having my breasts removed first is because I am taking no chances!

What I'm a little worried about is am I going to be able to have children? I want to do everything in my power to make that happen, but what if my body is against me and I am doomed to never experience the one thing that makes a woman, a woman? I know that I have to have faith and trust in what God has planned for me and I do, but there is always that doubt inside that says things like "What person in their right mind would be selfish enough to bring a child into this world that would have a 50/50 chance of getting this gene?" or "Maybe I'm not meant to have children because I won't be here to raise them." There are so many "what ifs." What if I have my breasts removed and then I get cancer in my ovaries? What if I have a child and then get cancer and die? What if I have my ovaries removed and my breasts removed and am still not able to get pregnant? My mind won't shut up! And I know it's normal to be thinking like this, but I just wish mom was still here so I could talk to her. She would understand like no other person on this earth!

I'm so tired of being strong. I want someone else to be strong for a change. But that won't happen. I've dealt with things like this before and my husband and his family hasn't, so I'm the one reassuring them and informing them. I'll be the one to calm Chad down when he isn't sure how to handle this.

I am basically a ticking time bomb and that is the worst feeling ever. I have a chance to be proactive, but now I have to find a breast surgeon, plastic surgeon and an oncologist. Oh yeah, I also have to find a gynocologist. Oh yeah, I also have to find a primary doctor because my doctor doesn't know anything about this and "terminated the doctor patient relationship", his words, not mine. I still have to deal with insurance and doctors fees and MRI fees and everything else this is going to add to my financial plate. As if I wasn't in debt already! So much for owning a house one day. Thank God for insurance covering this, or I wouldn't be able to have children and I probably wouldn't be alive in 10 years because I can't afford the surgeries on my own.

All through this I have to go to work and pretend like none of this bothers me. I have to put on a smile and act like everything is hunky dorey and that I'm not a wreck inside. I just want to curl into a little ball and cry until I can't cry anymore. The problem with that, is it would scare Chad. Oh and I don't think I have any tears left to cry.

I've gone through pretty much all of the emotions. I've been sad, depressed, angry, lonely and scared. My fear and anger come out as irritibility and poor Chad gets snapped at on occasion and he just doesn't understand why. I try to tell him not to take it so personally and that I'm sensitive right now and he just shuts down. I want him to talk to me and try to make me laugh, but I don't think I'm ready for the laughter yet. I am very blessed to have him and his family though. They have been great! And I am pretty glad I have a husband with a sense of humor. Making light of the fact that I'll have perky boobs for life is pretty funny!


  1. Just trust your heart on what to do and live your life the way that you want to and not how people tell you that you should or shouldn't. If having a child is something that you want- then do it! I'm completely disgusted that your dr treated you like that- seriously?!! You should report him~!

  2. I would report him, but I also didn't make payments in a timely fashion. That was their excuse, but my counselor thinks that he got in way over his head and didn't want to get in trouble. He was prescribing medication that could make things worse for my breast cancer risk. I've been seeing him for over 2 years and it's just too close to when I got my positive test results for it not to be related. Thanks Christy!