With all the craziness/blur/haze since my surgery, I totally missed my “BRCA-versary!” It’s not something I’d ever really thought about before now
(I saw someone on Facebook post about hers which triggered my curiosity) and honestly before I started the blog and dug out my results, I wouldn’t have known the date. Even now I had to look back! And the timing is a little crazy that it falls so close to my surgery.
I kind of wish I remembered more about the genetic testing process. It’s weird but it’s such a blur I can’t even really picture meeting with the genetic counselor for the first time. I can easily picture sitting in a booth at Cantina Laredo by the ice rink at the Galleria and my parents telling me that both my Aunt and my father were tested, and positive, for a gene mutation linked to cancer (that I had ironically just learned about in nursing school the semester prior). And I remember telling them that I undoubtedly wanted to be tested too (and soon), knowing in my gut what my result would be. I distinctly remember the chair I was sitting in at the cancer center when the blood was drawn out of the mediport I still had in place at the time on August 7, 2008. And vividly remember being told I was positive… I was at home at my parents taking a nap! So I was a tad disoriented answering the phone. But I do remember Sarah saying “you were right…” a week later on August 14th. I vaguely remember being handed a purple folder and opening it to read with my own 20 year old eyes the word “deleterious”:
I remember calling my Aunt to tell her I too, was positive. And I very much so remember meeting with my breast surgeon, and apparently took the “come back in 5 years!” more seriously than I realized. I’m such a dates/numbers person I can’t believe that I never put it together over the past 6 months that the anniversary would fall right after my surgery. Seems appropriate!
It’s hard to believe its been 5 years since then, but honestly it kind of seems like longer… Between finishing nursing school, 2 moves, 2.5 years of ICU nursing, and now almost a year of my current job (how did that happen?)– it’s been a busy 5 years! Sometimes I wonder what I would have done if prophylactic surgery (to happen then) had been offered at that initial appointment. I’m not sure what I would have done, but to be brutally honest, I am so incredibly glad it wasn’t. I needed to come to the decision on my own. And more importantly, I needed the life experiences of the last 5 years to be ready to do this. And between the job changing, gaining such a strong support system, and transition to being an adult (or something like that!) the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Besides the fact that my plastic surgeon who I adore so much wasn’t there then either! So truly the stars did align.
Anyhow, just wanted to commemorate, albeit a little late, the 5 year anniversary of the day I was inducted into Previvor-hood, whether I was ready or not! Ever since then, being BRCA2 positive really wasn’t something I let define me or was was even something I thought about a whole lot until last fall, so it’s still a little (okay a lot!) surreal to be “on the other side…” It’s really happened. I really did it – I had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy at the age of 25. Crazy. I wish there were words to describe the empowerment that typing that sentence provides, but there truly aren’t. I know that five years from now this surgery will be a blur like that whole time is, and you know what? I can’t wait.