I've been talking about my boobs a lot lately and I'm sorry about that, but, well, they've been on my mind a lot. A couple of you expressed hope that my MRI from last week would turn out well and I thought I'd give you guys an update. And I'll just pretend that I don't have any male readers, mkay?
So anyway, my test results were normal. Whew, right? I wasn't really expecting them to find anything, but you just never know. Especially considering my family history. My mother had breast cancer 10 (11?) years ago and my grandmother died of breast cancer. Of course, my grandmother had it back in the 1940s and if I'm remembering the story correctly, she refused any type of treatment because she was pregnant with my mother.
Frankly, I'm fully expecting to deal with breast cancer myself at some point in my life. My doctor told me once that it didn't bother him so much about my mother's history -- he felt she had it when she was "supposed" to, in her 50s -- but my grandmother's history did concern him a little bit since she was only 37 when she died. That's only a year older than I am now. You may think it's defeatist to "expect" to have cancer, but I think it makes me prepared. I think when or if I'm ever diagnosed I won't fall apart (maybe!). I think that I will be ready to fight, ready to do whatever's necessary to win.
I have had different doctors suggest different paths we could take. One doctor suggested prophylactic mastectomy and as radical as it sounds I have considered it in the past. I held off making any kind of decision about that until after I had my children. I wanted to try to breastfeed and did, successfully. You might think "Gee, that seems sort of radical. How can you take such a rash action against "the girls"? Especially when they fed your children?" But if your lifelong best friend suddenly pulled a gun on you and you were pretty sure she was going to shoot, I don't think you'd let that shared history get in the way of protecting yourself. Right? That's kind of how I think about it. Plus, my boobs have never really been that great. This would be the prime opportunity to get myself a perkier set (positive thinking!).
That same doctor suggested genetic testing before I made any decisions about mastectomies. My mom discussed it with her surgeon and he cautioned having the test done, lest it be used against me in the future if I needed to apply for insurance. He suggested that my mom get tested instead. If she had the gene, then I would likely have the gene. But we never did it.
Then last week my mom took me to lunch and said that on Friday she was having a needle biopsy. They had spotted something on her most recent mammogram. Whatever it was wasn't even palpable, but with her history they didn't want to wait. I went into quiet panic mode. But on Friday when she went in for the test, they couldn't find the something. At all. So they made her an appointment for another mammogram in six months just to be safe.
But the really cool thing about all of this is that she now been referred for genetic testing. She has an appointment with a counselor on Monday and this could be the moment of truth. If she does have the gene, chances are very likely that I do too. But if she doesn't, chances are very slim that I do. And then the likelihood that I'll ever have breast cancer diminishes greatly. Also, a law was passed this spring (I believe) that makes it illegal to refuse to insure someone based on genetic testing. These are all very interesting developments. And I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Neither can my boobs.
5 years ago