Going through chemotherapy, it is highly recommended to keep well hydrated at all times. That means I am constantly drinking water and constantly emptying my full bladder. The last two night specifically I have been waking up in the early hours (between 4:30 and 5:00am) to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, I later have trouble falling back asleep. So that means I’m usually up for an hour reading through the current news updates on my AP iphone app.
Today was an interesting read. Angelina Jolie had revealed to the press that she had a double mastectomy recently due to a faulty BRCA1 gene. AP news was one of the first news agencies to report this interesting story, I was reading it at 5 am! The procedure was a 2 month process that started in February and ended in April. Her mother passed a few years ago, after a decade long battle with breast cancer. Angelina received genetic testing for the Breast Cancer mutation and was tested positive for the BRCA1 mutated gene. It is an inspirational story to hear that a woman in her standing was brave enough to come out with such news. Her chances of developing breast cancer herself went from 87% to less than 5%! That is an drastic change in numbers.
On April 18, 2013 I received genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, through the Myriad lab in Utah. With no previous family history of breast cancer, my doctors thought it would be very unlikely that I would have this mutation. Most often women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, under 30, with no family history of the disease do not have any mutations and the cause of the cancer is unknown.
I, of course, have to be different. This morning, after almost one month of waiting for the results, I found out my answer. It appears that I do have the BRCA1 mutation. A result that I was more than shocked to hear about. I’m not sure how this will change my form of treatment, but I have a feeling something new will happen in the coming days.
It’s a weird coincidence that out of all days to find out about my BRCA1 mutation, it be the day Angelina Jolie goes public with her battle with the faulty gene.
I am waiting to receive more info about this new discovery in my diagnosis from my doctors. I do not want to do any online research because I tend to read into the negative aspects more closely than the positives. From what I do understand about the BRCA1 mutation is that it is hereditary, so my mother and close blood relatives (aunts, sisters and first female cousins) may have this mutation. I may also be the only one carrying this mutation which would make it sporadic.
The BRCA1 mutation is linked to breast cancer and and increased risk for ovarian cancer. Breast cancers caused by this mutation are usually triple negative, like the one I have. The chances of developing breast cancer in my second breast is higher than the general population. There are different ways of prophylactically dealing with this mutated gene, from surgery to drug therapy.
This is a blessing in disguise for me, because now I know what/who was the culprit. A mutated gene.
I now wait for the next step in this never ending battle. A battle that I shall overcome.