This blog is about boobs. Ok, to be fair it’s also about ovaries and uteruses and cervixes and other womanly parts… and how all of those things are affected by two silly little genes called BRCA1 and 2. I’m about to turn 24, and a year ago I found out that I had a BRCA1 gene mutation – which means I am three to seven times more likely to develop breast cancer in my lifetime than any given woman walking down the street (in her non-BRCA genes). I also have an elevated risk of ovarian cancer.
The news was not shocking. My mother died of breast cancer when I was three, and her mother died of ovarian cancer before I was born. My dad is a women’s health professional, and I always knew from my own experiences and my dad’s insight that I had a high risk of developing a womanly cancer such as the ones that claimed my mother and grandmother’s lives.
But seeing the news on that piece of paper made the situation all too real. I went through a sudden frenzy – what should I do? who should I speak to? how can I change my life? how can I get my life started? will I die soon? why am I even thinking about these things at such a young age? – but I’ve since had time to reflect. I’ve decided that as crazy as it may be, knowing is a blessing. I can start learning earlier; I’ll always be vigilant; and I have a chance to share my story with others who may be in the same boat.
That’s why I’m starting this blog. For other young women dealing with BRCA who want information, a friend, or just to see that they aren’t alone.
So please enjoy and share your thoughts. On the surface BRCA is all about boobs, but underneath it’s so much more.