This makes me so happy! This time last year, my mom was back in Utah in the middle of chemotherapy. She was bald and miserable and sick as a dog. This year, she was able to participate in the race. This year, she is cancer free, has curly hair (it grew back in differently) and her prognosis looks good. This year, she gets to show off the new boobs she got out of the whole ordeal.
This time last year, I was blissfully unaware that I carry the BRCA gene. I thought my risks of breast and ovarian cancer were the same as everyone else. This year, I'm armed with knowledge and a team of cancer specialists who really, really, really don't ever want me to get breast cancer. This year, I get letters from my insurance company gently reminding me that they will cover the cost of a prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction. This year, I'm happy with my choice to screen for breast cancer and not jump to surgery (maybe in ten years, but not this year). This year, I have much bigger medical bills but I'm hopeful about my future.
For October 2011, I hoping that my sister will have been tested for the gene. She has a 50/50 chance of carrying it. I hope I took one for the team, but the odds don't care about that. She kicked alcoholism's butt, I'm interested to see what she can do with breast cancer.
And because I love my three little brothers so much, I would encourage them to get tested too. Men who carry the BRCA gene have slightly increased odds for breast cancer, prostate cancer and skin cancer. Plus if they have daughters, they could pass the gene onto them. So maybe that can be the plan for Octobers of 2012, 2013 and 2014?
I'm glad you made it, Mom. It was an awful, terrifying and depressing year for you. But let's hope it was just that- one terrible year among many, many happy ones to come.