Posted by: Sarah | May 2, 2005

Start Dates and Bad Genes

Had my first post-surgery oncologist appointment this morning. I’ll hit the two major highlights of the appointment, then discuss “minor” points if I haven’t written an excessively huge post at that point.

A) I do indeed carry the breast cancer gene mutation. More specifically: BRCA1.

B) I will be starting Round 1 of Chemo on the morning of May 18.

Now a little in-depth stuff.

Having the BRCA1 gene means a number of things.

It means that the decision to have the bilateral was the smartest choice I could’ve made. Having the bilateral has reduced my chances of a second incidence of breast cancer from 50% down to as little as 1% in my lifetime (it cannot, unfortunately, be a sure thing that I will never again have breast cancer in my chest as there is no way for every single itty-bitty little breast cell to be removed during the bilateral, but we knew that going in).

It means that I should have my ovaries/fallopian tubes/uterus removed sometime in the next five years. Why? Because women with BRCA1 have a 55% chance of developing ovarian cancer in their lifetime.

It means the women in my family* (and possibly some of the men) will need to seriously consider having genetic testing themselves, to see if they carry the gene and will need to be carefully screened for breast and ovarian cancers from here on out or not.

Other than that, though, no biggie. Hee.

Now for more on chemo. Oncologist is very much Pro-Port and so I’m just waiting to hear back from my Jackson surgeon’s scheduler to let me know when he’ll put in my port. I’m excited about it! The only thing that would cause me to cancel the whole port idea is if the plastic surgeon feels it would interfere with my reconstruction. But he probably won’t.

I asked the oncologist if my being node-negative meant I would be eligible for a shortened chemo treatment — he said “you took the most aggressive route with your bilateral decision, and I feel it is only fair to you that I take the most aggressive route with your chemo treatment, so we will be doing the full chemo cycle.”

Excellent.

* my mother’s side of the family.

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