I don’t know how to start a blog. I don’t know much about blogs, or writing poetically or beautifully, or writing in general for that matter, but I know how to talk. I’ve always been extremely talkative, because I have a lot to say. Most of the things I say are not important. If you ask my fiancé, he’d probably tell you I’m kind of like those Bing commercials. Although my thoughts are scattered around in a bit of random chaos, I do have some wonderful ideas sometimes….I guess I’ll start writing them down here.
If by chance someone stumbles across this blog and doesn’t know me, my name is Alexandra, Allie, or Allie Boo (I prefer Allie Boo or just Boo) and I’m 23 years old.
The point of this blog is not to surround myself with attention or stir up a debate, but I’m sure it has the possibilities of doing both.
As a sidebar I would just like to say, writing is so much harder than just talking…Maybe I should make a vlog… But then I’d never upload it, because I’d look like a tool. So here I am rambling on about unimportant things, when in reality I should be talking about boobs.
There we go. The topic I need to inform you all about.
I don’t know where I should begin my story, so I guess I’ll start by telling you I tested positive for a BRCA2 mutation. If you didn’t read all about Angelina Jolie, it means that I have a high chance of getting breast (87%) and ovarian cancer (40%). I’ll be honest here and say, since I’m not a doctor, I don’t know that those statistics are totally accurate, but that is what Google is for. I would talk with a genetic counselor to get more concrete information. So if you happened to stumble across this blog because you are also BRCA positive, I’m here to share my story (which will hopefully be helpful to you) but not offer scientific fact.
Another place where I could have started my story is here….My journey with breast health and breast issues started when I was 16 years old. I was pushing carts at work and I got a sharp pain in my right breast. I talked to my mom about it and she said not to worry, it was normal (normal for us, apparently not for “normal” people) and it would probably go away….It didn’t. In May of 2007 (so I was 17) I went to my first appointment at the breast surgeon. She told me to lift my arm, and when I did she could see the 7cm tumor move. Without skipping a beat she said, “Yeah, we’re gonna need to remove that.” So I scheduled my first lumpectomy. It was fine, just a very large fibroadenoma (a benign tumor type fibrocystic thing…Google it.)
For future reference, I would like to inform you that I will now refer to my right boob as Lumpy and my left boob as Bob. Those have been their names since I was 17 and had my lumpectomy, so deal with it. Yeah, they are boys.
After my lumpectomy I was fine for a while, but I got that same shooting pain again, so I knew something was wrong. I did my breast self-exams (it wasn’t hard, my boobs are tiny) and I knew I had more lumps. I made an appointment with that breast surgeon and after an examination she said I was fine and there was nothing to worry about. K….
Fast forward to October my freshman year of college and I knew for certain I had more lumps. SO we made another appointment and this time I saw a different doctor……..GUYS…… IT WAS A MAN! Turns out male doctors aren’t creepy at all and he was awesome. He said he didn’t feel anything in poor Lumpy but he would run an ultrasound to make sure everything was cool. Guess what friends, I was right. I had 5 lumps. FIVE! So they decided they needed to biopsy 3 of them right away. Biopsies are terrifying if you have a perpetual fear of needles. I’m not talking just kind of, I mean, I pass out from flu shots. Yeah. When it comes to needles I suck. So yeah that wasn’t fun, but those ended up being fine as well.
Although interesting story, I went to talk to my neighbor’s house the evening of my biopsy and got the hiccups. Turns out hiccups aren’t good if you’ve just had a biopsy and whatever was holding my skin together popped and I bled through 3 shirts. NOT COOL. Along with hating needles I also hate blood.
So now that you know a little bit of my background, we will get back to the BRCA2 thing. So I tested positive. In this case, it seems not so great to be positive, but that’s why my blog is positively pretty in pink. I’m going to use this as an opportunity to start thinking positively.
My options now that I know about my genetic history is to, a) get MRI’s ever six months in hopes to catch whatever happens early, b) take some low dose chemo type drugs that have horrible side effects, or c) have a prophylactic mastectomy.
I choose C. And by C I mean I’m gonna have a C cup and it’s gonna be awesome! J
So what I am trying to say is I am writing to let you know, on July 9, 2013 I will be undergoing a prophylactic (or preventative) mastectomy with reconstruction. Yes, this means I am going to have awesome big boobs. It is just going to take a lot of time to get there.
I am truly blessed to have an amazing fiancé who is so supportive and would love me regardless of breast size or the fact I might not have nipples for a while, and wonderful parents who have been 100% supportive of my decision to have the surgery right away. They will have the honor of waiting on me hand and foot for a few weeks when I am unable to do many daily tasks on my own. (But don’t worry Maw, I’ll be right by your side too.)
Sidebar: Since I am BRCA positive it means one of my parents had to carry the gene. My mom is also BRCA positive, so she will begin her journey on July 10th, when she meets with the breast surgeon.
My fiancé’s amazing family, who have promised to make sure he gets good meals (not just hamburger helper and ramen noodles) while I’m gone, are also so supportive of me. Also, if you are in Springfield, please make Jeff food. It is easier for me to worry about him than myself so if you’d do that it would be great!!!! 😉 My friends who are totally gonna help me figure out what size I should go so I have awesome tatas. And Tobi, my sweet puppy who knows when I’m having a rough day and sticks right by my side. Gotta give him a shout out too.
This process is truly the beginning of a new chapter for me. I should be starting my teaching career like many of the other girls I graduated with, or planning my awesome wedding, but that is going to have to be put on hold for a while….I’m starting to truly believe that everything happens for a reason.
I’ve really struggled with my faith throughout my time in college (that’s another blog post for another time), but have started to see the little things God has been doing to show me I am heading down the path He has chosen for me.
So I decided (well, I’m starting to realize God probably decided) I need to share my story. Not so you feel sorry for me, or for you to judge me (no offense, but I don’t have time for that), but for you to take care of your health. Do breast self-exams and be aware of your family history. Pay attention to your body, not just your private parts but your skin and please wear sunscreen!!!! 🙂
I’ll update more as the process continues. You’re totally welcome! 😉