I got the clear on all 25 genes, guys! I couldn’t wait to share the good news with all of you. I felt so relieved.
As of now I only have one mutated gene, ATM, which might or might not have caused my breast cancer. This ATM gene has a moderate risk for breast cancer and a low risk for pancreatic cancer. It has been suggested it could also be linked to other forms of cancer, such as leukemia. However, researchers are not sure yet.
I am aware that just because I was negative for all those other genes, it does not mean I will not develop a new cancer in the future. I still need to monitor myself. But it is less of a burden for me to find out I am not a carrier of any additional genes. I feel a sense of peace I did not have before all these genetic testing became available to me.
They did find a couple of “variants,” one of which is linked to my existing mutated gene. The other variant is linked to a gene called “CDKN2A,” which is associated with melanoma, in this case. However I am not a carrier of this gene so I shouldn’t worry about it at the moment. I continue to see a Dermatologist once a year – very important, guys!
All this genetic information is important to me not only because I am looking for answers about my breast cancer and my family cancer history, but also because I am thinking of having a child one day, soon. If I decide this is the direction/risk I want to take – and my Oncologist, Dr. Dang, would need to agree with this decision, I will do it through in vitro fertilization. I want the option to test the embryos for genetic mutation(s) prior to insertion. Now, when will this happen? I don’t know yet. I am allowing myself one year to decide whether or not I’ll take a break from Tamoxifen. I am also trying to save money as this procedure can be very costly.
It is still scary for me to stop treatment but I also want to try to have a “normal” life while I still can. Quality of life is important to me.
Meanwhile, I take this good news and hold on to it. News like this is what helps me feel encouraged and to have hope.
Always remember to hold on to the good news. It inspires us to keep going.