Saturday, January 09, 2016

Genetics Results Are In!

     I spoke to Shannon, the genetics counselor, Thursday at lunch. My Oncology Genetic Test Report results are in. I am negative for any gene mutations that could increase my risk for cancer. She asked me if I was relieved to hear the good news. I told her that I still had breast cancer, but I guess so? She kinda laughed and said that there was one more gene they were waiting on. The MSH2 Exons 1-7 Inversion Analysis is the last gene analysis I will receive. That gene predicts early colon and uterine cancer. She doesn't think I'll test for that one, either, since there is not any history of early colon or uterine cancer in my family.
     I actual initial thought was I hope this doesn't mean Kaiser won't pay for a double mastectomy. But my surgeon mentioned at my first meeting with him that with my age and history, a lumpectomy would not be the appropriate action. I do want to have both breasts removed. I think that my mom should have had both her breasts removed. I'm anxious to have my appointment Wednesday and find out what Dr. Haigh says. My friend Carolyn is going with me -- so if he acts like a double mastectomy isn't necessary, she will be there to help me fight for it.
     My boss doesn't think I should tell my students. I am conflicted about this. I will do what she says, but I feel weird about it. Next week we get out at noon on Thursday, and are out of school Friday, and the following Monday and Tuesday for semester break. So it's pretty likely that I might not return from semester break. I better be having surgery by Jan 20! The girls might come back from break and I won't be there and they won't know why.
     I guess there's no reason to fret about this. I don't know when I'm having surgery. I do know that every day I'm not having surgery, it's getting harder to not freak out about the cancer cells cruising around inside me. I received a packet from the American Cancer Society, and was reading through it the other night. In addition to the two tumors in my right breast, I do have random breast cancer cells wandering around my body. I know it takes six months for the tumors to double in size, but I would like those stray cells to be obliterated by chemotherapy as soon as possible. So all this waiting is making me crazier by the minute. I was fairly crazy already!
     All my coworkers now know. I emailed the young teacher crew the other day.  I couldn't figure out how to tell them in person. Mary Rose told me I could just email them and that it would be ok. Everyone has been super sweet.
     I'll post about my appointment Wednesday evening. I am hoping that the MRI will confirm that the cancer is just in my right breast, and hasn't spread anywhere else.

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