My mother died of ovarian cancer at the young age of 54. She looked at me the last week of her life in desperation and begged I would have a yearly pap done. Something she did not do regularly (nor I) because she hated having them done. Well a couple of years later I figured I better listen to momma. While there they asked if anyone in my family had cancer. I told them of my moms story. They said a yearly pap will not show if you have ovarian cancer or not. They said actually since your mom had it you should be genetically tested because you might be high risk. I was like what is that. The doctor explained. At the time the test was $3000 but the insurance thankfully covered it. I had it done. I waited for a long time for the result. One day I got a call from a nurse. She said Mrs. Jackson you need to make an appointment to come speak with the doctor about your test results. I was then a little scared. I was like why can't we do this over the phone and she said that is not policy and I must come in. So I went in a week or so later for the day they set me up. They said words I was not expecting to hear. Your Brca Positive. I was like what does that mean and so for the next good while the doctor sat with me and explained as they laid out before me a purple folder with my name on it given to me with my results and further explanation. As he shared with me the hard facts on the matter all I could do was sit in shock and try hard to hold back my tears as I thought of my moms suffering and I thought fears of the possibility of me going through the same thing and leaving my kids at a young age with no mom. I couldn't take it and let it out and cried for a minute or two. What Brca means is a BRCA mutation is a mutation in either of the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Harmful mutations in these tumor suppressor genes produce a hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome in affected families.
I am Brca2. There are hundreds of identified forms of Brca 1 or 2 mutations. I was given the code name of mine. 1882delT which is rare. After finding this I knew this is what caused my moms cancer. She went to the grave not knowing she was a carrier but I think something inside her mothers heart knew for what ever reason I should go to the doctors often to get checked so to speak. Since then I have been set up on a plan that I go for an internal ultra sounds every six months and a c125 blood test. Even an internal ultra sound sometimes misses the ovarian cancer so the best medicine is when your done having kids your to have every thing removed. See at the moment I am at a 45% risk of ovarian cancer. The doctors said its even higher since my mom died of it and I am next generation. So we will say 50% I think the doctor said and a bit higher percentage of breast cancer around 60 or more he said. But did you know the hormones a female procedures in the ovaries also has a major part in causing breast cancer. So they said if I have it all removed it will lower my chances of getting cancer down to 2%! It will drastically lower my chances of getting breast cancer as well with out having to remove my breast. Yet some with Brca positive do have that done to help prevent, a prime recent example was Angelina Joelee. The average lady is at a normal 2 percent risk of getting female cancers.
So here I am in 2014. I still have not had the surgery. I am glad I did not yet because in the summer of 2013 I found out I had a baby! But sadly I lost Asher. But I know this little soul will be waiting for me in heaven to hold someday. I have given myself one more year. After that year I think I will have the surgery. But then again I am not sure. I have so many questions. I am fearful of having it all removed. Will it make me less of a woman? I want to speak to others in the same boat. I heard that if you have it done you have menopause right away and it can be harder on the body then if you let it happen naturally. I have also heard lots of stories of awful side effects that far out way the good in it all. I thought maybe I should wait till I hit menopause naturally then have the surgery done? So many questions. So I found a support group called FORCE. Facing Our Risk Of Cancer Enpowered. I attend my first meeting with total strangers next Tuesday and I am a bit excited yet scared. When I make the journey 30 minutes away from home what will I find? I hope I find more answers. I hope I find support because as I approach the age of 40 when the doctor warned me I should do this surgery... I am getting nervous. Should I be? Should I not be? What are these ladies facing I will meet? What have they done about it? I want some help. I do not think I am really emotionally ready to give up not being able to have kids. Yet in my own research I am finding that some of the Brca positive people after age 40 increase their chances even higher when they have kids because of the hormones and so they should not have kids its to high a risk. I hope they can help me. If I go ahead and have it done what about hormone replacements? I do not like the ingredients the current main stream medical doctors prescribe & the side effects they themselves can cause. What about natural remedies in which I do not know much about? I want to take control of my health. I want to be enpowered so I hope this group will help. I hope hearing other stories will help. But what's going to be strange for me is only a few people know. I have not been talking openly to others about it nor especially to any one else who has this mutation. I have not yet met personally anyone who has the mutation to even share stories so this will be a good start for me. I am sure more out there have this and are not even aware. So if you can get tested please do! Be empowered! If you have been tested positive please visit http://www.facingourrisk.org/