September 10, 2012

Well, here it is...

I've pondered over how to type this and whether to type it, and have no idea what the right choice is.  But I've shared a lot here over the years and Joe and I decided that we're not going to keep this a secret (except from the kids for now, until there's a reason to share) so I figured I'd go ahead and share here.

In short, it has been determined, due to family wide genetic testing, that I have a 50/50 chance of having a BRCA2 deleterious genetic mutation.  What, you ask, does that even mean?  If I do, well, that means something as high as an 80% likelihood of developing various woman related cancers early in life.  Possibly repeatedly.  And since that's not really a scenario I'm prepared to live with, it would also likely mean the prophylactic surgical removal of a few nonessential woman parts like breasts, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, maybe a uterus for good measure.  Or maybe just chemoprevention (I'm still researching that one).  

It feels weird to even bother typing this because we haven't gotten a positive test result.  We're just waiting.  But the waiting...Gah!  That stinks!  I just want to know so we can all sigh with relief or I can get down to business selecting the order in which I want my spare parts removed and finding the best cosmetic surgeon for putting me back together in better form than ever.  

Aaaaanywho, today I left the kids with my dear friend and made the drive to a bigger city to meet with a genetic counselor and get the test.  It was awkward.  He gave me the box, a big purple box with the words "Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome Test-Kit" on the side to carry to the lab with me.  Apparently the lab doesn't carry that test, so I had to bring my own.  Which meant that in the waiting room, people would smile politely, read my box out of the corner of their eye, and then give me an oh, so sorry look.  You're here to have your iron checked?  Cool.  Me?  Oh yeah.  As you just read (rudely) I'm here to find out if I'm going to get a ton of cancer.  Thanks for noticing.  Yeah...so much for privacy laws.  Can you say awkward?  

And apparently there is a mouthwash test where you can swoosh out a few cheek cells instead of giving blood, but of course my hospital didn't have that one on hand so I had to give a big old test tube of blood.  No fun.  The counselor said it should take 1-2 weeks for results, so until then we're just waiting and trying not to dwell on all of the options if it's positive.  50/50  doesn't feel very good.  That said, we rented the cancer comedy called 50/50 and it was really good.  I recommend!  

But of course, it is pretty close to impossible not to spend the time between now and the phone call evaluating my options, scrolling through endless pictures of reconstructed breasts, which I now call franken-boobs, because it's shocking how not that far we've come in reconstructing fake boobs after a mastectomy.  Apparently you can have a nice rack, decide you want it nicer, and come out looking great (cosmetic), but if you have to donate your girls to the cancer gods, the reconstruction options are bleak.  Bummer.  

So, I'm a bit distracted from my routines while we wait the long wait.  But life goes on.  We're still doing basic school work, I still have a math class to teach at the co-op and a choir to get ready for Fiddle on the Roof, and interfaith meetings to host, and a house to keep clean and kids to keep fed even though the threat of a ton of cancers (enough that the purple box called it a cancer syndrome) looms in the air.  So...yeah.  There you have it.  That's the reason for my lack of posting.  I'll let you know when I know.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll even muster the energy to do something fun enough to blog about with the kids while I wait!

4 comments:

  1. Thinking of you Skyla! xoxo

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  2. What a heavy load. You'll be in my heart.

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  3. That's a lot to process. Thinking of you and sending prayers.

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