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Breast cancer has always been apart of my life. When I was young my grandmother had it. She had one breast removed. When I was in the fifth grade my mother found out she had it. It was very hard for me coping with what she was going through. I always kind of thought she wouldn't be around much longer from how sick the chemotherapy made her. She did end up fighting through it, and she is still around today. After she was in remission she started putting the pieces together that it wasn't just my grandma and her that went through this. My grandma's mom died from breast cancer. Also her sister and multiple of my second cousins had it. She decided to bring this up with her doctor who later suggested she go visit a genetic counselor. My mom went with here and it was decided she would get the BRACA testing. Sure enough it came back positive. With this knowledge my mom got tested and she was also positive. This meant there was a 50/50 chance for me. I decided to have the testing done when I was 19 years old. I had an iffy feeling after the blood draw that mine too would come back positive. I will never forget the day the counselor called with my results. I knew them before she even had to say anything. I cried with my mom while we figured out which oncologist to set an appointment up with.
I didn't realize how much monitoring really goes along with this positive test result. I was originally told mammograms would be done every 6 months. Before my first mammogram I felt a lump during a self examination. The Dr. decided an ultrasound was the best way to find out what it might be. Not much showed on the ultrasound so he decided to do a MRI. He called the next day and said he needed to see me in his office. It turns out that the lump I felt was nothing...but I did have a strange spot on the same breast in a different location. I ended up having an MRI guided biopsy and it all turned out okay. After that scare it was decided I would have a mammogram at 6 months and a MRI at a year. He also suggested as soon as I decide I'm done having children to have an oophrendectomy and a mastectomy as soon as possible.
I told this information to my parents and they still to this day are severely against anything until I'm 35. They think science will change and I wont have to go through such drastic measures. From my own research and meeting with doctors I have found it will best to have this done at a younger age. I'm aiming at a mastectomy just after I turn 25 (next year).
The hardest part of my journey has been thinking about the future. I have a son and I always worry that maybe I've passed this on to him. When thinking this I always get a guilty feeling. It is also hard for me because I don't personally know anyone my age that has been dealt the same hand as I have.
FORCE has shown me that there are many others going through this same thing. We all just have to be there for each other.