A couple of months ago, I lost a high school friend to cancer. She left behind a 3 year-old little boy which, needless to say, broke my heart as the mother of two young boys. But her passing did something unexpected for me–it inspired me to be more proactive about my own health. Having had several of our family members go through cancer, most of them breast cancer, I decided to ask my doctor about screening.
Given our family background, I qualified for a screening of several cancer genes, including BRCA, which we’ve been seeing with increasing frequency on GiveForward.
Yesterday I found out that I do not have BRCA, but I do have a cancer gene called Chek2 with a 48% chance of getting breast cancer.
This doesn’t mean I have cancer…it just means I could get it.
I haven’t decided exactly how aggressive I want to be about prevention yet, but I have decided to make my journey public. As a 33 year-old woman with a microphone, I think it’s important to help bring awareness about testing and options for prevention to as many people as possible.
At the same time, I realize that it will probably be emotional and somewhat alienating to be public about this. So, I have a couple of requests:
1) Please don’t treat me like I’m sick…I’m super healthy. My blood work is awesome, I feel great. I do need to get screened in the next few weeks to makes sure there’s nothing there, but in the meantime, send me healthy vibes!
2) If you’ve gone through this and you have any advice, will you please email me: desiree (at) giveforward (dot) com
And one more…
3) Get tested! if you’re at risk, please talk to your doctor.
Most importantly, I want you all to know what a blessing I think this information is. I have the power to be able to get in front of something most people never do. I truly believe that this news has added years if not decades to my life, and I am grateful that the work we do at GiveForward gave me the information I needed to be this proactive.