Quote of the Day: We acquire the strength we have overcome. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Exercise Log: Walked w/ Melissa, Jillie, Sue B. and Kathy E. We went 3.27 miles. (-2.20) It was wet outside but felt and smelled of Spring. I am grateful for the green showing up on the trees and the chirping birds that seem to increase in number every day.
BIG DAY FOR ME: Chemo # 3. In marathon terms, I will be at about mile 9 when the effects of chemo wear off! 3/8 that’s a start! I loved having the port in. It’s still very tender, had to sleep on my back but the nurse was great inserting needle into port and I loved that my arm was left free! I did feel that the medicine got into my system sooner. I first started to notice how tired my eyes are. They are red and sore and want to be closed. I really fight laying down though because once you lay down, it’s hard to get back up.
I wanted to put in a comment from my Dad regarding my blog about my grandparents:
“Everything you said about Jim, Thilda, Lynn, Owen and Vernessa was true. Living through the great depression was very difficult. You and I should not condem them until we have had to survive a situation that difficult.” love, Dad. I love my Dad’s perspective. One lesson I have tried to learn from him is not to judge others, and I really appreciate that. I take what he says to heart and really know that we don’t always understand the sorrow or suffering of another. Thanks for that reminder, Dad.
Serida Foss was my Chemo-buddy today and I had a strong sense when I got my news that she was suppose to be there with me. Serida is a nurse, very loving and compassionate and can see things that I cannot see. When I got to the front desk to check in at the Cancer Center, I was given my results of the BRAC 1 & 2 tests. Yes, just right there in the waiting room. So I started searching the results and saw a part that said “no mutation detected” and I remembered that Lynne’s test had also said that and she tested negative for the gene. Then as Serida and I looked further, there was a part bolded that said “Deleterious”. (Definition of deleterious: causing harm or damage.) Then above in bold letters POSITIVE FOR A DELETERIOUS MUTATION. I am positive for the BRCA1 sequencing IVS5-11T≥G. In the report it says: “…has been defined as deleterious in linkage studies of high-risk families. The exact risk of breast and ovarian cancer conferred by this specific mutation has not been determined, but studies in high-risk families indicate that deleterious mutations in BRCA1 may confer as much as an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 44% risk of ovarian cancer by age 70 in women. …Each first degree relative of this individual has a one-in-two chance of having this mutation.”
Further reading shows that with this mutation, at age 50, I had a 33-50% chance of having breast cancer (general population 2%) so the odds were good for me getting breast cancer. Since my sister, Lynne, tested negative for the gene, the surgeon and oncologist thought I would most likely be negative. You can image my disappointment in not having had these tests done before surgery- I would have certainly had a mastectomy. Surgeries in my future: mastectomy and hysterectomy. Life has a funny way of circling back around us. I remember years ago watching a show on TV about a family that has this gene. They interviewed one of the young girls who tested positive for this gene and she was going to have all the surgery that I will have. I remember thinking that I am so glad that I don’t have to make that decision. My genetic profile is a bit odd when it comes to breast cancer- I am more at risk because my sister, Lynne, has it but there is no breast cancer in my mom and her sisters. My Dad most likely carries the gene and also his father. It didn’t show up in them because they are male and their risk of getting breast cancer by the time they are 70 is 6%.
One last ironic piece: I am so grateful that I had all boys. There risk is low for breast cancer but they, of course, could be carriers of the gene. They will all be tested. I pray that if we are passing this gene on, that research will progress and a cure to stop it will be found! I always wanted a daughter and I really prayed that I could have a daughter, and now, as has happened so many times in my life, I see the wisdom!
Oh, wait- even one last ironic piece: on the bottom of the test results page it states: “It is strongly recommended that these results be communicated to the patient in a setting that includes appropriate counseling”. Ha, ha!
Thanks, Serida for the wonderful lotion!
Serida Foss – My chemo-buddy!