I work in the realm of medical conferences. Ive been staring at eyeballs for 6 years. I saw my first orthopedic surgery videos a few years back. While we were waiting on Pat's genetic tests for the baby, I worked my first breast cancer meeting.
I heard the all the data and listened to the experts talk. A lot of what I took in about the BRCA mutations was data I knew from reading a great book, Pretty is what Changes, which I had read before Mandy was diagnosed.
But as prepared as I was to hear those numbers, I couldn't prepare myself to hear a survivor speak. She was young. She had kids. They found the cancer early. She looked amazing. But they still found it. She's still living with it. Her children will still live with the fear that it will return.
Being so close to the anniversary of Mandy's death, being pregnant and thinking about my own risks, I was a mess.
I can't help but remember her as I think about the doctor's recommendations for myself.
"Screenings are great, we will find anything early. But you will still undergo all of the treatments we can think of. The mastectomy is preventative."
Plus, apparently there is no good screening for ovarian cancer and BRCA1 has a higher rate of ovarian than BRCA2.