Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Facts & Feelings

I wanted to wait before I wrote about my feelings concerning the outcome of the test, mainly because I thought I'd be more clear about them. Not so.

This is what I know:
  1. Having the mutation just means I have an much bigger chance of contracting breast and ovarian cancer.
  2. It's just a pre-disposition to cancer, not the Big C itself.
  3. Without the BRCA2 mutation I have a 7% of getting breast cancer somewhere in my lifetime. With it, about 80%.
  4. Without the BRCA2 mutation my chances of getting ovarian cancer is about 1,4%. With it, 50%.
  5. Women who never have had children may be at greater risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
  6. There are numerous prophylactic options available.
  7. I do not have to decide right away what I should do.
This is how I'm supposed to be feeling:
  1. Happy to know about the mutation: now I can be extra careful.
  2. Thinking of knowing about it as something that empowers me.
  3. Concentrating on living here and now, making the most of every day.
I'm worried about:
  1. My medical scheme. It's not going to pay for the MRI the oncologist wants me to get without avail. Nor does it have adequate oncology coverage. An upgrade is needed ASAP.
  2. If I do upgrade, and they ask me any new questions, I'll have to answer truthfully about the mutation, and then they might not allow my upgrade.
  3. I can only upgrade in about a month's time, and it will only start January 2008.
  4. So many more things are going through my mind, but I'm way too scared to write them down.
This is how I actually feel:
  1. Watch this space, the jury is still out on this one.

All in all I'm doing ok. A really good cry is long overdue, but I find all kinds of excuses not to go there. So until I am brave enough to allow my tears to flow, I'll keep super-busy.

You know what amazes me? The strength I find in myself. I knew it was there: Infertility was a hard task master, but where I thought it would only have limited resources, it's like the widow's oil well. So far at least! But that is a whole different post altogether.

We're still waiting for my mom's results. She's doing OK under the circumstances. Positive and upbeat despite the pain and tiredness. Will let you know what happens as soon as we hear anything.

You all are super wonderful - your comments bring tears to my eyes, your love and encouragement makes me feel warm and cared for. I know I've said it a few times already, but you don't cease to amaze me with your non-stop support. Thanks again!


SaraS-P said...

Wow, that is pretty serious stuff to digest. Amazing how something you never knew was present can mean so much for your future.

I hope you remain on the good side of all the statistics on this mutation.

Lori said...

Glad you're taking the time to really feel what you feel.

Like you, I am amazed at your strength (but not surprised in the least).

Summer said...

Karen, I just caught up on your last two posts. I wish the news had been different for you and your sisters. Sounds like there is a lot for you to think about and deal with right now. Remember, we are all here for you.

Princess Peach said...

I'm so sorry about the mutation. It sounds like you're digesting a lot of information and sorting out your feelings which shows your strenghth.

Take your time with your sorting as it is so critical to moving forward. Remember that sometimes statistics aren't always on our side but many times we can and do overcome them. Wishing you hope, peace and the very best.

Fertilize Me said...

This is alot of info thrown at you. Handle yourself with care, the rest will follow suite.

Schatzi said...

Screw what you are "supposed" to feel. Leave that for next week... or next month. Just be where you are right now... wherever that is. Let it all sink in, and I truly believe wisdom then rises to the surface.

Thinking of you...

Kami said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts so far. I don't know what to say other than I hope it will work out. That you will continue to cope and you will be happy with your choices.

MLO said...

Oh Honey, I wish I could do something to help. I can't imagine what it is like to know that you have such a high risk for something like ovarian cancer. Hopefully, you fall squarely in the 20% that doesn't have to worry!

I'm thinking of you.



Bea said...

It sounds like you also inherited the coping gene. Looks like you've got the facts straight, there's no reason to rush the feelings.


Geohde said...

Karen, I don't know what to say.

You're staring down the barrel of some terrifying stats with remarkable control.



Mands said...

I am so sorry about your sisters Karen. I have had a lot of breast cancer crop up in my family recently. I have joined a special womens cancer insurance with Hol.lard. You should maybe look into it, and see what they offer. I just felt that it would be better to prepare for anything. Let me know if you need more info and I'll check my policy for you.
Mands xx