It is what it is.

I got my results yesterday and I tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation.  It wasn’t a surprise as I knew in my heart all along this was the case.  The anxiety leading up to knowing was worse than anything else.  Now I have knowledge and a plan and that equals power.  What this means is that I am at a much higher risk for ovarian and breast cancer than your average bear.  As a result, I am going to have an oophorectomy, which is the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes.  This can be performed laparoscopically which would be a cinch, but of course, I’ve had two c-sections and a tubal ligation which means that is probably out for me.  Why would it be easy for me???  Ha ha.  Instead, I’ll have open abdominal surgery, like a c-section.  Fortunately, I got in to see my sister’s surgeon, Richard Barakat, who is the chief of gynecologic surgery (and just about everything else) at Sloan Kettering.  The only reason I get to go to him is because I’m BRCA1 positive and my sister is his patient.  Not the kind of “in” one usually wants, but hey, I’ll take it.  He’s the man.  I’ll also be intensely monitored for breast cancer at Sloan going forward.  Every six months I will have mammograms/MRI’s alternating.  They call it a “breast surveillance” plan.  So official sounding, isn’t it?  So I have my appointments made and we shall see when I can have the surgery.   The sooner, the better in my mind.  I’d like to be fully recovered by April when we go to Florida.  I certainly don’t want this done after that.  Summer will be here soon enough and I need to be at the beach instead of at the hospital or home recuperating!

For comic relief, or to add insult to injury, we had a good chuckle over my mother yesterday.  After I told her my results, she called my sister Cece and said, “Oh!  Did you hear?!?!  It’s a VERY exciting day!!!  Barbara got her results!!!”  Ummmmm….yeah, Mom…..whooo hooo!  Can’t wait for surgery!  Let’s get some champagne…..aye yi yi.  She’s totally gone, so there is no harm, no foul here.  She can’t remember from one minute to the next what is going on, so we just had to laugh.

My goal from now until surgery is to get in fighting shape.  The more fit I am, the faster my recovery.  So back on the healthy eating plan and continue exercising.  I’m hoping I can have the surgery before the end of February.  That would be best case scenario.  But we all know how that goes….”the best laid plans…..”  *sigh*


5 Responses to “It is what it is.”

  1. Further, if unwanted, comic relief: Had the whole “country lawyer” thing not worked out, I was planning on going into “breast surveillance.” Alas, the EMBLOS put the kabosh on that plan of action. Hell, these days, she won’t even let me do it the privacy of our home.

    Seriously, the EMBLOS went through this two years ago at Christmas, when an hour and a half cystectomy turned into 8.5 hours of full blown hysterectomy and lord knows, what else. You’ve got the best doctor. You know what you face. It will be hard, yes, but you can and will, repeat “will” do it. And I’m sure you’ll have the wonderful support of your husband which is a blessing.

    And you have your friends and family praying for you. Heck, you’re on a prayer list in rural Missouri, if that means anything.

    Cheers, my friend, and I mean the “cheers” part.

    You’ll be fine.


  2. Thank you Randall. I remember when the EMBLOS was sick. Was it really two years ago? Time does fly. Glad she’s well now. I know I will be too. Life is funny – it’s trying times like these when I feel happiest in knowing what good friends and family I have. It’s comforting. This too shall pass!!!

    BTW – glad to see you blogging again.

  3. I hope this goes well. As you’ve doubtless been told, there is good evidence that oophorectomy plus breast surveillance makes a huge difference to survival rates. FWIW there’s also a theory that says that BRCA1 mutation is linked to higher intelligence.

    I’m not sure I can compete with rural Missouri, but you’re on my prayer list too. Walk in peace with God.

  4. Thank you BP. You are sweet and your kind words are appreciated. I will willingly accept the higher intelligence theory as fact. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  5. Hi Lamb
    This is the first I am hearing about this from you blog! Bless you darling and keep fighting the fight as you have and will.
    KK again – I am such a stalker but enjoy your words.

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