In the days following my diagnosis I set out for more information on what was actually going on in my body. I had chest x-ray and blood work done. I also decided to have genetic testing done. The purpose of this would be to determine if the breast cancer gene was something that was passed down from generations or something that I acquired on my own. Having this knowledge would not only help my doctors in determining how to treat this, but it would give mostly my sister and mother information on if they should be concerned too. The genetic testing was an easy decisions for me. If I was going to be able to help my family members fight this horrible disease, I couldn’t wait to sign up. I also had a pet scan. This scan would go over my entire body looking for cancer cells. So far all of my tests have been very simple! Mostly blood draws and scans.
My blood work came back good. This means that I am overall healthy. Chest x-ray, clear. My genetic test is still pending. We do have what is called the BRCA back. “BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most common genes involved in hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Testing can be performed on either a blood or cheek swab sample to tell if a person has one of these BRCA mutations. This test does not detect whether a person has cancer or not; it indicates whether a person carries a change in one of these genes which can increase cancer risk.” My BRCA test came back negative! This is great news, but there are still several genes that they are still looking at. They are also taking into consideration the large amount of melanoma that is in our family. Because of this they will also be looking at my genes for information about melanoma. I also have results of the PET scan, which tells us that the cancer has not spread to any other major organs! This is wonderful news! So far it is contained to my left breast and possibly lymph nodes on the left side.
The knowledge that we have is amazing! I can not believe all that we are able to do to find out more about these horrible things that are killing so many or our loved ones.
By looking further into my tumor they are seeing that the cells there are very aggressive. they are growing fast. Because of this we have to be even more aggressive about getting rid of them.