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Grab & Smash

So. My mother had breast cancer when she was 36. She survived, thrived, and is doing well.

I have been having annual grab and smashes – AKA mammograms – since I turned 30. So far, all is well.

When I went for my yearly last week, the doc suggested that I have a genetic test done to see if I have the breast cancer gene.

Hold up.

I’d never thought about being tested, because I thought that all the test would do was tell me that I have or don’t have the gene and I have an increased chance of having breast cancer. And really, I figured since it couldn’t tell me with 100% certainty when I’d have breast cancer (if I tested positive) or when I’d contract it if I did, there was really no point.

The doctor said if I tested positive I’d definitely 100% have breast cancer at some point in my life. If something else doesn’t take me out before then. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

So I asked her if I took the test and I tested positive what were my options. They are: inncrease the frequency of my mammograms (2x a year I think she said), mammograms plus MRI, consult with surgeon have a double mastectomy. Geez.

I declined the testing. But I’ve done some thinking, and I will go ahead and have it as soon as I can schedule it.

I’ve, of course, done some reading. Everything I’ve read said that my odds – if positive – increase to something like 85%. That’s not 100% as my doctor stated.

I was talking to Smoochy and I told him if I tested positive I wish there were some way for them to pinpoint or at least narrow down a time frame. Decisions I’d make at the age of 41 are radically different than those I’d make if I were to test positive for breast cancer at oh, say 81 – you know?

Anyhoo, I’m all confused and conflicted as to what I’d do if the test comes back positive. Of course, my prayer is that it will not, but I’ve got to think about each possible outcome, it’s just the way I’m wired.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. Pun intended 🙂



4 thoughts on “Grab & Smash

  1. please do not let doctors put fear into you that might cause unnecessary actions and also do not let them speak over your life telling you negative things. I’m sure the doctor was just trying to be helpful but….check out this link if your so inclined…it speaks of what you are going through, gives valuable information, and definitely a unique perspective that most don’t know about. I know you will make the best decision for you…thinking of you…its a tough thing to consider regardless. Here is the link: http://www.drnorthrup.com/monthlywisdom/archive/oct2013.php

  2. I applaud you for taking the opposite route I have taken. When my mama was diagnosed with bc she just kept telling me to get those mammograms.

    Now, I’ve never been one to fear doctors or bad news. But I can’t honestly find any other reason that I’ve skipped my annual and other exams ever since.

    The reality is – it’s fucking scary. Sorry for the language, but it is. I’ve always been one to want to be in the know, but with this – it’s not as simple as yes or no.

    My thoughts are with you whatever you decide.

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