Genetically blessed (guest post)

me and mom 300x168 Genetically blessed (guest post)

Our fave Darwinian FAIL & her mom.

 

 

I call myself a Darwinian Fail for a number of reasons, but my latest misadventure has stemmed from one tiny piece of genetic code, known in the medical world as BRCA1.

BRCA is known to us regular folks as the “breast cancer gene”. This little genetic mutation is thought to play a key role in the rate of breast cancer found in the women who carry it. It increases their risk of developing the disease up to 80%.

And as a woman who has watched the generations before her battle this disease, I chose to act preventatively and underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction this past March. I fight this battle, so I don’t have to fight the war.

And the same will be true with Ovarian Cancer as well.

Obviously, as a result of my personal journey a lot of time and effort has been put into raising awareness about BRCA and Breast Cancer. But I have only touched on one side of this evil little gene. It is also tied to other women’s cancers and increases a woman’s risk for Ovarian Cancer as well.

One of my fears going in for the genetic screening was what this would mean for my hopes of one day starting a family.

I don’t want Cancer, but I would also like to one day be a Mommy. I spent one particularly low moment crying over the obscene cost of legal fees and adoption. And spent several weeks fearing that having a baby was just not going to be a blessing I was to be given. At 27, I am not quite ready to have a baby, but it is something I want.

Thankfully, my battle against Ovarian Cancer is one that I have been able to put on hold for the time being. A preventative hysterectomy is recommended for those of us who are genetic predisposed, but it is something they recommend for the future. Ovarian Cancer for BRCA+ gals typically strikes post-menopausal, so while it is important that I remain vigilant with regular physicals and proper screening, it is not an immediate concern.

I will begin more involved screening in my late 30′s, and I plan on ringing in my 40th Birthday with yet another trip to the OR for a preventative hysterectomy.

I, unlike the women in my family before me, will never wear the badge of honour as Survivor. Because I will never have to survive a diagnosis, struggle through chemo, radiation, and the battery of tests that go along with this disease. Instead today I stand up and FIGHT.

If you have no boobies, no ovaries, no uterus, and a robot heart, are you still even a woman? The answer is, YES! You are one strong, badass, bionic woman, who is healthy and cancer free!

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year I want to be able to give back. I am running the CIBC Run for the Cure on September 30th and this is a shameless fundraising plug. (<—–MizFit note. I ENDORSE THIS PLUG!)

If you or someone you know has been affected by women’s cancers, please consider visiting my fundraising page.

 

We can conquer cancer! I am part of the Bright Pink population who knows their history, has recognized their high risk status, remains vigilant against this disease, and chooses to act preventatively. Cancer is beatable if it is detected and treated early; so know your history, recognize your risk, get screened, and above all… FIGHT!

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Krysten

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to provide something back and help others like you helped me.

  2. says

    Watching my mom struggle with several women’s cancers was truly a life changing thing for me. I was amazed at her strength and her positive attitude through it all. Because cancer now runs in my family, it’s so important to not only spread awareness to others, but be aware of the idea that it could happen in my own life. Let’s make good choices today so we can set the stage for a good tomorrow!

  3. says

    “If you have no boobies, no ovaries, no uterus, and a robot heart, are you still even a woman? The answer is, YES! You are one strong, badass, bionic woman, who is healthy and cancer free!” <– ADORE this quote. She is such a strong, inspirational woman!

  4. says

    From this breast cancer survivor, THANK YOU!! I was diagnosed at age 30 with stage 3 breast cancer after being misdiagnosed for 2 years. My ob/gyn said that my lump was most certainly “nothing” because of my young age, that I am healthy, and have no family history of breast cancer. After undergoing 4 surgeries, a year of chemotherapy, radiation, having a complete hysterectomy to help rid my body of estrogen, and continuing on medication still today, I am here today surviving!

    I am so proud of you for sharing your story! It is so empowering!! Women must be vigilant and aware about their own bodies. We need to make sure we are educated about our family history (if possible) and do our self-exams and schedule our mammograms. You are a fabulous example of strength and I applaud you for the choices you have made. May God continue to bless you with health and lots of happiness! ((hugs))

  5. says

    I hadn’t made the ovarian connection to the BRCA1 gene until now. K you inspire me by your proactiveness every day. All the best to you!

  6. says

    I was terrified when my health journey began that the result was going to be ovarian cancer. Luckily while we have no answers and I can’t have kids it is not that…I don’t know how I feel about the kid part yet, but i do know that I feel blessed to not deal with the scary thing that is ovarian cancer.

    Your story has been amazing to watch unfold. love your outlook.

  7. says

    Krysten, I have read your posts both before and after your surgery and am amazed at your strength and ‘pluck’ (my mom likes that word and it seems fitting…).
    My family also has recent experience with breast cancer. My 40 year old sister had a double, prophylatic mastectomy plus reconstruction last year. Unfortunately, she suffered a serious infection that resulted in the removal of one of the reconstructed breasts.
    Just when we thought the worst was over…
    I will be donating to the Breast Cancer Society this year in BOTH of your names!

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