I totally plagarized that title from the National Cancer Institute, but I figure if Bernie Madoff’s not in jail a little artistic license of the web ought to be fine. No?
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genetic markers for heightened risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Many women just like me have these markers. Women who have these mutations are much more likely to have breast and/or ovarian cancer at an early age (pre-menopause).
A few days ago, I asked y’all if you’d have the test. The answers ranged from glib to heart wrenching, and the emails were touching. You are an amazing group of women. Thank you for trusting me with your secrets and with your fears.
I’m having the test. My insurance company is undecided about covering the costs of the test. It’s a simple blood draw, but the lab fees are expensive. Even if insurance doesn’t cover it, I know that it’s money well spent. I’ve spent a good deal of time thinking the testing through, the pros and the cons.
I didn’t have the BRCA test last year because I wouldn’t have done anything with the information except worry. Much like Nancy I didn’t have the sense that the information would change my life. Information without action doesn’t have immense value for me.
I am a 38 year old woman with two children and a wonderful marriage. Menopause isn’t around the corner for me, but my childbearing years are over. The children are perfect, and they are growing quickly. Robert and I are left with more moments together, and they’re joyful. I’m looking forward to a long life with him. I’d like our life together to be free of illness.
I am the mother of two children. I am duty bound to them. It is my obligation to care for them, to nuture them, and to nurture my marriage so they can live in a home with a childhood as carefree as possible. I am obligated to care for myself so that my daughter knows what joy adulthood can bring. For my son I need to show him what he can expect from a wife. In order to do all of this, I’ve got to be healthy.
It’s not just my life anymore. I am just that lucky.
If the BRCA tests were to come back positive, I’m almost certain I’d have a double mastectomy and whatever else the doctors recommend. I’ve had my babies and these breasts have fed them. I can’t imagine letting them kill me and forever alter all these lives.
I’ve decided that BRCA testing, for me ,and at this moment, amounts to being a good wife and mother.