June 13, 2014

THE test. Would you OR wouldn't you take it?

A few weeks ago I had my yearly checkup with my lady Dr.
You know, the one who needs to check all my lady parts to make sure I'm healthy.
As she was going through my family history (again. Since I've only been visiting her for 15 years) she commented about my maternal Grandmother's history of breast and ovarian cancer. (It took her life before mine began)
Dr. Lady Dr. asked if I'd like to have a blood test to see if I carry the gene as well.
She said it so casual and explained it was really easy to do and if the test is positive then I can make the decision then to then have a bilateral mastectomy and my ovaries removed.

*Suz smilng at Dr. Lady Dr.

*Suz just realized that Dr. Lady Dr. said something important and it's starting to penetrate her thick skull….

*Suz's brain is taking in the words bilateral mastectomy and something about her ovaries….

*Suz has a lightbulb blaring over her freshly coifed hairdo…

Suz: "OH, THAT TEST???"

Dr. Lady Dr.: "Yes, THAT test. "

Suz: "Sure, why not"

After I left the office, reality hit me.
What if I'm positive for the gene?
What will I do then?
I've never tested positive for anything good or bad. I hate tests!!!

Then I pushed those thoughts to the back of my brain and focused on our impending graduation, family arriving,  party planning yadda yadda yadda……

Dr. Lady Dr. finally called me on Thursday of last week.

I'm negative for the BRCA gene.

Which means, I have the same chances of getting breast & ovarian cancer as someone who doesn't have a family history of it.
Which means something. Well, which means I can still get it.
Which was a huge relief after I hung up the phone with her.
I didn't realize how stressed I was about it until I got the call.

Would you take the test?
Have you?

I feel that with all the technology we should be prepared for whatever we can be prepared for.
Me? If I had tested positive, I'm fairly certain I'd have my bits and pieces removed. Some of them, I'm already done with.

I know it wouldn't  be easy…but I really want to be here for the long haul.
You know….just to annoy my people for as long as I can….because I'm so good at it.
My new tagline: Annoying my people since 1967!


  1. Wow, that's a tough question. I've never been asked if I wanted to have that test done, but then again, I've already had some of my lady bits removed. I think I would do whatever it takes to give myself the best odds though and have whatever surgery they would recommend. Glad you tested negative!!

  2. I have not taken the test but I feel the same as you.
    Your new tagline make me spit coffee!!!

  3. So glad you did not test positive! What a relief. I think I would have the test if it was recommended by the doctor. I think it's probably better to know than not.

  4. Very tough question. Initially my thought is, I would not want to know if I carried the gene, as worrying can be viewed as paying interest in advance on a debt one may never owe (I'm paraphrasing a quote I read somewhere recently). However I wonder, for my loved one's sake, if I should...

  5. so glad the results were good! i know 2 people who took the test - both after having abnormalities in their mammograms. both had mastectomies. one also had her ovaries removed. it would be a tough situation.

  6. Ah, well, ah, well, hmmmm....don't think I'd take it. I worry enough, and well, ah, hmmmm, nope I wouldn't take it.

  7. I'm glad you tested negative -- I want you 'annoying' us for a good long time. I really don't know what I would do if presented with a similar choice.

  8. I'm so glad you tested negative. I went for genetic counseling. After looking at a whole bunch of family history, they told me that I don't even fit the model for women they test. So I opted not to do it. Dunno if that was the right choice, but it was the one I made at the time. Hadn't really thought about it anymore til you posted this. So glad you are ok. We want you around to make us giggle at all the wrong things. ; )

  9. Hmmmm. My spouse never had the test but early diagnosis and removal at the Mayo Clinic made her a two time survivor and very lucky to be good for the long haul.......:)

  10. yay on the results! info is good to know, you know "knowledge is power" but i'm always scared about which info i will end up knowing. so i don't know...that would just be one more thing for me to freak out about! i'm glad you got positive results so you can continue annoying us :D

    1. i mean i'm glad you got negative results...which is weird terminology really right? positive results should be good, as in something positive and negative = bad in most cases...except in the dr's office!

    2. Tanya….I'm confused as well. :)

  11. My mom died of breast cancer and I see a specialist. He says no need for the test if I get regular check ups with him and diagnostic mamogram. I was going every 6 months because I have dense breast and have had 4 biopsies. Ugh. I wish he'd do the test. I'd do it and if positive, I would hesitate to have it taken care of. They took out my ovaries when they did my hysterectomy because of my mama's cancer. Glad you're okay.

  12. Glad the test was negative. Yes, if I had a strong family history I would have taken the test when it first became available and would have encouraged my daughter to do the same. If positive I have no doubt I would have had the surgery.

  13. Can anyone take this blood test? Just curious..I feel sure that I would do the bilateral..

    1. Hi Terri,
      I'm sure anyone can take the test….but insurance (most I think) will only cover it if you have a family history of it. My Dr. explained that this is something new for insurance companies to cover.

  14. Absolutely, I would have taken the test... When one gets older--he/she thinks much more about his/her health than they did when they were young.... I would do most anything in order to stay healthy---or prevent problems. My blog friend opted to have a double mastectomy when she found out that she had cancer. They caught hers at Stage I---and it doesn't appear that anything spread. BUT--she did what she had to do in order to stay alive... I would do the same thing... So glad though that you are negative... Glad you took that test.

  15. My mother is an ovarian cancer survivor - 3 times for her. There was no family history and the tests she has had done show no genetic link. However, since turning 50, I did elect to have the blood test. One thought for my own peace of mind and the other was to establish a baseline of my hormone levels, genetics, etc.

  16. I haven't taken the test... I don't think my insurance covers it. But now I'm curious and I'm going to email my doctor and ask her...
    My mother and grandmother both had ovarian and breast cancer and I lost my ovaries when I was 24.

    1. You should check for sure. My Dr. said sometimes the insurance companies will balk at it, but I've heard nothing from mine as of yet. *fingers crossed!*

  17. Glad the results of the test were good ones. Love your positive attitude and your humor. Keep them both.

  18. Scary all around. I suppose I would but it would take a lot more thought what I would do if it came up positive.
    Yay for you on passing your test :)

  19. talk about a stress test!!!! so glad you passed. failed? GOT A ZERO ;) love you!

  20. I really don't know what I would have done! Being the Mama of two girls, probably, but I wouldn't have slept a wink until those results came back. So good to hear you got the results you needed :)

  21. I would on that one because you can take action. I would not on the ones like for Huntington's unless it was for genetic counseling. So glad you are not a carrier. There is no test for lung cancer--I definitely would take it if there was one.


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