Family history… “Did I wait to long?”.. The question that haunts me…

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Did I wait to long?….

Let me explain….

As you can see, my mother's side of my "crazy" 🙂 ❤ family is HUGE.. Because of such a long blood line, and so much history of breast and ovarian cancer, we were approached by UBC..(if I remember correctly) to do genetic research. This was approx 18? years ago. We donated our blood, and the genetic research went into action. They found a "mutated" gene in our blood line.. BRCA 1 + 2.

This was an amazing discovery. Now women all over the world can predetermine if they are at a high risk… 86% chance of breast cancer… I should really check these #'s.. don't quote me on this, I am going from memory, and it was quite sometime ago… not to mention, my chemo brain makes me forget .. (I'll get to that part of my journey eventually) and I think..??? 65% chance of ovarian..

ok… So, my mother tested positive, my aunt as well… unfortunately we lost my other aunt ❤ to ovarian cancer, this after her courageous battle with breast cancer.<3 I myself tested positive. My sister, thank god, does not carry the gene.. My mother and my aunt underwent full mastectomy, as well as having their ovaries removed.. now their chances are dramatically lower. This was an easy decision for my mother, having had two beautiful..;) children already.. My aunt waited just a little while, and after having her 2 beautiful daughters, she also had her surgeries. I on the other hand chose to wait. I was 20-21 ? when informed that I was a BRCA 1 + 2 gene carrier. Overloaded with information, and options.. Being that I was so young, and still not sure where my life would take me, children, no children.. etc, etc.. I chose to wait. this leads to the question… "Did I wait to long?"

The cancer society has been screening me religiously. Every 6 months in fact.. Alternating mammograms, and MRI's. About 2 years ago there was a change in my breast tissue.. after further investigating it turned out to be nothing.. PHEW!!! This however sent my mind reeling.. I promptly made appointments to go over my options again.. I was referred to 2 surgeons, one to remove breast tissue, and a plastic surgeon to reconstruct. The waiting list for these procedures… 2-3+ years. I got on that list… The ovary removal however was not a very long wait.. after my consult, the dr said if I signed the papers that day, we could do the procedure in approx a week…. YIKES!!! that's fast! Suddenly my mind went into overdrive.. Was I ready to give up my chance to have a family with my amazing husband Chad? A week was not enough time to decide. The doctor could tell by the look on my face I wasnt ready to make this decision.. So I went home, discussed things with Chad, and went off birth control.. We would let fate decide.. After more consultations with my doctor at the cancer clinic, we decided that if I was not pregnant by 39, 40 yrs old, we would go ahead with the ovaries… my chances of ovarian cancer increase again after 40. I was still on the waiting list to have my breast removed, baby or not… And I will have a full hysterectomy after I get through this breast battle.. don't want to ask this question again..

"Did I wait to long?" This question has haunted me.. I beat myself up about it all the time.. in hind sight.. YES! If I could go back in time… damn rights I would've got on that waiting list much sooner. But through this journey, I have realized, that everything happens for a reason. I cannot control the past, and I cannot have any regrets.

Every cloud has a silver lining.. The overwhelming support from friends and family has been unbelievable. My relationship with my husband has grown so much.. He is truly amazing, and is my rock.. He never lets me get down.. Encourages me everyday how strong a woman I am. And reminds me that I was, am and always will be a fighter! My outlook on life is completely different now.. And so is his.. for the better:)

I will beat this! I will fight like a girl! I will choose hope not fear!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lydia
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 15:08:41

    I am so proud of you Cheri. Your strength and positive outlook as well as your wonderful sense of humor. I have never doubted for a moment that you will beat and crush your CA and be a shining beacon for every woman you know and many you do not, to have courage and grit to battle whatever they are facing. As for waiting too long. You… no. You were proactive long ago. The medical profession… yes. Us with the BRCA gene need to have an ability to acquire services in a more timely fashion. But that’s a whole other discussion. All my love and support. ❤ You go girl!!!

    Reply

  2. Sarah
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 15:59:38

    for so many reasons this is so great you are blogging~I am so happy you are doing this, for you, for us, for those who don’t know you that could use a little lift in their cancer journey 😉 Never look back and regret your decision to wait, everything truly does happen for a reason and we all need to beleive in that, wherever we are in life’s crazy journey~ it is true, look at all the great & beautiful things you have mentioned in your blog because of where you are at now with all of this. You are in such a great place in your life to appreciate all things small & big so you will make the best of this and in doing so will help so many people battling this damn cancer or maybe who just need a positive nudge in life! I am looking forward to having morning tea and reading your thoughts! Your an amazing women Cheri!! xoxo

    Reply

  3. Nikki
    Jan 23, 2013 @ 04:36:04

    We don’t know each other but I read your blog and found it truly inspiring! You are very strong and you will beat cancer. Xo

    Reply

  4. Deirdre Featherstone
    Jan 24, 2013 @ 15:17:39

    Hiya its Dee here from Kicking the Shite out of Cancer – only saw your blog an hour or so ago and this is the first post. Wow you have a battle alright but already like me you are one tough cookie and I dont know you well enough yet to say f….ker but we will kick this bugger. I have only read this first post as wanted to find out the background first – cant wait to read the rest of it – great to hear about another nutter going through this nutty disease – chin up – from one baldy lady to another xxxx

    Reply

  5. Deirdre Featherstone
    Jan 24, 2013 @ 15:18:30

    and as for waiting to long – our life is mapped out for a reason its all planned

    Reply

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