When it Pours, it Monsoons

The results from my biopsies are in. They have been in for a while, actually, but the last time I tried to share my results on WordPress, I got an error message. Figures. Apparently WordPress does not want me to share the following with the world, but I am doing it anyway:

I have cancer.

My biopsy returned news of malignancy in my right breast, and the ultrasound shows a tumor around 2cm in size. The cancer is also invasive, meaning it has broken from the duct where it started. Invasive ductal carcinoma. Has a night ring to it, no? The radiologist started one of her sentences with “Your cancer…”. My cancer. What the hell?

This was not supposed to happen. I am only 25 years old. I was supposed to learn I had some fat lobules or whatever it was that people my age have. Not breast cancer. But I couldn’t be that lucky.

I found this out on Monday the 21st of March, and in the week and a half since I’ve known, I’ve basically gone through all of the stages of grief. I have been angry at my body for betraying me in this way. I have been terrified and pondering my own mortality. I have been depressed, feeling like I have nothing to look forward to in life anymore. I have felt guilty, like there was more I could have done to prevent this, and that I’m letting down my family who already had to deal with my mother’s breast cancer, which ended up with her dying when I was merely 3 years old.

Today, I’m actually feeling okay. My decisions have been made and my course is planned – as much as it can be for now. I will have a double mastectomy and reconstruction with implants. Between the mastectomy and implants, while I am being expanded, I will go through chemo. It is weird to type this like it’s no big deal, and I would love to share my thought processes, but I’m not trying to write a novel here.

What I can say is that my mind is made up and I am at peace with it. I honestly hardly even entertained the idea of a lumpectomy or unilateral mastectomy. I just knew in my heart that this is what I wanted – I. Do. Not. Ever. Want. To. Have. Cancer. Again. It’s that simple. With this gene my chances of a second cancer are nearly 65%. To that statistic I say, “Screw you.” It just makes sense for me to prevent this from ever happening again.

When I first got the results that I was BRCA 1+ positive, I thought mastectomy was crazy and drastic. But I am no longer a previvor. I am now a cancer patient, and if all goes well, I will be a cancer survivor. I’d like to keep it that way for a long time.

I guess this means a lot for my blog – it’s no longer just about wearing my BRCA genes, it’s now also about being a 25-year-old with breast cancer. Whoop-dee-doo.

Advertisements

Up Next: Healthy Women Removing their Breasts?

BRCA has been a big story in the news in the past week. On our local Fox affiliate (Fox 5, DC, and no… I don’t regularly watch Fox but I do like to watch it in the morning because it’s the only local broadcast) they featured a story about women with BRCA removing their breasts, and I guess the same footage has been shown on several news stations because a recent study came out that says mastectomies and ovary removals reduce cancer risk. Well, duh.

Here’s an article from ABC that features a member of my local DC FORCE community: Mastectomy, Ovary Removal Reduce Some Cancer Risk and Mortality.

I guess it’s good that us mutants are getting media attention. We want to raise awareness and all… But I also hate how the news sensationalizes things like this. OMG! Healthy women are going to drastic measures to beat breast cancer! What has society come to?!?

Unless you have BRCA, you cannot fathom what it takes to make the decision to have surgery. I am afraid that people won’t understand our situation based on the media coverage, and that they’ll say negative things like, “These women are crazy. I would never do that.”

Anyone else have thoughts on this?