Just over a month ago, I decided to get genetic testing at the request of multiple doctors. I was hesitant to do so; I worried that the results would show high risk of future cancer development. I felt it in my bones that the results would be bad, just as I felt in my bones from an early age that I would get ovarian cancer.
Last week I tested positive for the BRCA2 gene. This gene is what caused my mother to develop stage 4 ovarian at age 30. This gene means I have a high risk of developing the same type of ovarian cancer in my other ovary, entirely different from the immature teratoma that I had in 2019. This type is extremely hard to screen for, and usually by the time it’s caught, women are in later stages of their cancer development. This gene also means I have a 50-80% chance of developing breast cancer in my life.
I made the decision the day after receiving these results to get a hysterectomy and to remove my other ovary. Today I lost all of my remaining reproductive organs, something that I haven’t fully grasped. I feel both relieved and mournful. Having an absent mother made me never want kids, but it feels much different now that it’s no longer a choice. I’m scared of the other health issues that this is going to cause me as I get older, but ultimately I think it’s better than developing a deadlier cancer and having to go through chemo again. I’m happy to be able to make this preventative choice, and that breast cancer screening is effective.
I keep telling people that the reason I choose to be a bright light is because I can’t let this dark cloud that follows me swallow me up. I can’t let every selfish, shitty, absent person in my life determine how I choose to treat people. I can only hope that someone can learn from me.
Please be good to your friends, family, nurses, doctors and psychiatrists. Be good to baristas at cafes and hosts at restaurants. Choose to be kind, even if it’s not always easy. Especially when it's not easy. Give more hugs, especially now that we can have physical contact again.
Be the light. I promise you it’ll bring you much more happiness at the end of each day.
RIP my two shitty ovaries and mostly shitty uterus; you caused me a lot of trouble, but introduced me to a lot of wonderful people and an entirely different outlook on life. ❤️🔥