I follow a lot of Facebook pages related to BRCA and cancer and such. On one page, someone with a BRCA mutation (I assume) posted about how they had a child on the way and they were not going to get the child genetic testing. Instead they were going to focus on “HEALTH and WELLNESS” and not “bombard” the kid with fears of cancer.
I understand the sentiment, and of course no one is pushing to get babies tested… well… no one I’ve come in contact with. I know all too well that it sucks to live life with the fear of cancer hanging constantly overhead.
But here’s what pisses me off. You can focus on “HEALTH and WELLNESS” ’til the cows come home, but that won’t stop the gene. The gene does not care if you run 20 miles every day, eat a strict diet of locally-sourced, organic fruits and vegetables, read Shakespeare, teach Yoga, never breathe contaminated air and never ingest any carcinogens. Until science can definitively say that some environmental factor turns on the gene and we can cut that environmental factor out of our lives, genetic testing is our best tool for survival.
I’m happy for that baby, but I hope that either those parents realize this before their kid turns 25, or science finds that BRCA genes can be repaired by repeated exposure to Hamlet and/or downward-facing dog.
Tonight is just one of those nights when I am frustrated by everything. Work has been stressful and and unfulfilling. There was a massive leak in our bedroom ceiling and they’ve cut a gaping hole in it and we’ve been sleeping on the mattress on the floor in the tiny second bedroom. Our apartment is messy. None of our pictures are hung up. I’ve been suffering from recurring and nasty UTI’s for the past month and a half and I don’t know why. My right breast, same area where the tumor was, has been aching on and off and it’s probably just my muscles getting used to the implants but it scares the s&%^ out of me. One of our male neighbors… can’t tell if it’s up or down… is singing Katy Perry at a volume and tone that’s inappropriate even for Katy Perry in the shower.
And then to top it all off I got a “FINAL NOTICE” bill from GWU for a charge that I don’t understand from my MRI back in FEBRUARY 2011 (which, mind you, my parents already dished out more than $1,000 for). Not only that, but I’m in the midst of writing an appeal to insurance for another $1,000 charge for the surgery I had at the end of April, which they won’t cover because, as the Explanation of Benefits explained, “a response to our request for information from the provider has not been received.” All fine and good – except why am I being penalized for the billing office’s incompetence?
I went to a “Living Well with Cancer” retreat this weekend at Smith Center here in DC and they were all about stress reduction because stress allegedly feeds cancer.
I think that’s a bit counter-intuitive because:
Cancer is stressful. Life after cancer is stressful. Dealing with insurance companies and medical billing departments is stressful. Heck, life even without cancer in the picture is stressful.
I’m going to go attempt to do some yoga and breathe.
Sometimes I don’t feel like writing about my breast cancer. Today is one of those days, so I’m just going to share two articles I read recently. Sure, they’re from Yahoo, but I think they’re still legit.