Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I get to keep my boobs!

Today was the big day, aka Genetic Test Results day and there is No Mutation Detected!

That's some girlfriends and I jumping because we're silly -
we can say for this blogs purpose we're jumping for joy!

 Anywho, so because my Aunt has yet to test for the mutation, I'm technically an uninformed negative.  Because of the family history, until my Aunt tests also for the BRCA mutations we don't know what the cause of the family cancer is.  If my Aunt tests negative, there is a likelihood, there is something undiscovered that created the pattern.  If she tests positive, there is a mutation and I am just not a carrier.

So the good news here is that my risk has dropped!  I was a 32.92% risk pre-testing (that calculated my risk for having a mutation and my other risk factors).  Now I am about a 24-25% risk (it'd be 23-24% if I didn't have big, full boobies).  So I no longer have a 1 in 3 chance, now it's only 1 in 5 (yes, if you are normal it's 1 in 8).

What this means for me is all state of mind really.  I still need an MRI in December, and an annual Mammo, and I'm still enrolled in the high risk program.  I'm not out of other treatment option woods yet either - but unless things change, I can keep my boobs:).  If you have never met me, you won't have any idea the amount of relief this gives me.  I really wanted to keep em all along!

Its funny, I really thought finding no mutation would be anti-climatic.  You know, the buildup of stress and tension and anxiety and then nothing really changes.  But the sense of relief today is so high!  I'll save the anxiety for my MRI in December:).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

When dreams come true, it's not always a fairytale

A couple of weeks ago (just before my last 2 posts) I dreamt that I received a bill in the mail for my BRACAnaylysis before my Genetic Counselor and I met to follow up on my results.  In my dream, I received only a bill for the BRACAnalysis and not for the BRACAnalysis Rearrangement Test (BART).  Because BART is only performed when the BRACAnalysis is negative, I knew my results were a positive for 1 or 2. 

Well, today I received 2 bills from Myriad and haven't heard from my GC.  Fantastic!  I assumed.  Two bills, two tests.  Until I read them and realized the totals aren't what I discussed.  So with some further research (damn Type A personality) I learned that in April of this year the price for the Comprehensive BRACAnalysis was raised to $4,040.00.  Well, after totalling my bill it comes to $4,040.00 even.

And of course its Saturday, so if there is a BART bill coming in the mail, I won't see it for at least 48 hours.  Karma plays for the other team today.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Do you ever have the feeling you're being followed?

I swear, between having blood drawn for the BRACAnalysis and waiting for the results, genetic testing has been following me.

A girlfriend is having it done to confirm paternity of her child.

A woman at work was tested for the BRCA after she had a pre-50 BC diagnosis.

Meredith Gray is being tested for the Alzheimer's Gene.

And it's October, so pink is everywhere.  I can't turn a corner, go into a store, read the news, or even go into a damned bar without seeing pink.  I suddenly understand pinkwashing.  But I'm not self-important enough to call October bad for my own sake.  Awareness is important, and breast cancer does not discriminate.  It hates all women equally, some of us are just more vulnerable victims.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A letter for my Genetic Counselor

Dear Genetic Counselor,

Thank you for taking the time out to meet with me a few weeks back to discuss my genetic testing options.  I feel like we had a great talk, and I left feeling great about going forward with the test, although I had other options.


Thanks again, I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Kimberly :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lumps and Bumps: Is it all in my head?

My facbook status today reads:  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month:  Save mans real best friend and perform a monthly self breast exam!

And that's because last night I did.  I have been pretty vigilant at SBE's for a long time now.  I noticed a change, or a lump if you will, two years ago, reported it to my doctor, had an ultrasound, the technician treated me like I was too young to be concerned, and all in all the results came back negative.  This experience compared to my first mammogram has shown me how important your medical provider is.  You must be your own advocate - or change doctors until you find one that fits with your priorities and needs.  The ultrasound tech two years ago commented on my "breast density" and when I inquired further with her, she told me it really wasn't a big deal.  This was a year following the release of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that confirms high tissue density does lead to higher rates of breast cancer!  Needless to say, I won't be returning to that hospital for my breast care - ever.

So last night again, I noticed a change in my tissue.  I can't tell if it's a lump, or a bump or what.  I can feel a definite indent that is not present elsewhere on either breast.  I will be emailing my Nurse Practitioner to see how she feels I should follow up.  I am still awaiting my BRCA test results, and will schedule a MRI after those are received.  But I can't help but wonder, did I notice this change last month and not take it as seriously?  Am I creating this in my mind because this is all I currently think about?  At what point am I no longer re-acting to the changes in my life and being truly proactive?  Am I seeing things that aren't there because I'm more sensitive?  I don't know.  We'll see what Heather says.