Friday, August 20, 2010

To test or not to test; that is the question

So, I have scheduled my first Genetic Counseling appointment for September 23rd.  Beaumont will be sending me a packet that I need to complete and return before I show up.  Yay!  More paperwork!  If I ever get around to purchasing a home in this lifetime, I am totally convinced my closing documents will have less pages to complete than all of my high-risk paperwork.

I have a lot to think about going into this first appointment, so many questions, so many uncertainties.  Or maybe I don't, and I'm an extreme over-thinker and I'm doing all of this unnecessarily.  I live my life literally planning for the worst and expecting the best.  As that applies to this current journey I've found myself researching like crazy.  You see the thing is that I really don't expect to come back BCRA 1 or 1 positive.  If only 2% of women are positive, the odds are in my favor. But then again, when are the odds ever in my favor?  So, with that I'd like to be able to make an educated, informed decision now, so if I am in that select 2% of people, I know my decision is based on rationale, and not emotion.

But then, what does a negative for BRCA really mean?  Does it mean I won't get breast cancer?  No, even if the test is negative I still  have that 32.92% chance.  Does it even mean I am really BRCA negative?  NO!  After all, the relative you should compare DNA with is a survivor, and my only living survivor and I don't speak.  For all we know, we may have the gene in the family and it may not show up in my screening, which doesn't mean I'm not, it just won't jump out and bite you from the snapshot of my DNA. 

So test or not to test?  That is the question.

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