All in the Family

IMG_4172.jpgIt’s been five years since I’ve known I carry the BRCA2 mutation.  what I didn’t know was who gave me the mutation.  We all suspected that it came from my dad judging from the family history.  But who really want’s to guess where something like this comes from? It’s life changing.  A BRCA mutation puts one at risk for multiple cancers, whether you are male or female.  BRCA and cancer doesn’t discriminate.

It all started five years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I ran to have a BRCA test.  I was only tested for the 3 most common Ashkenazi Jewish mutations.  My test came back positive two weeks later.  1/40 Ashkenazi Jews carry a BRCA mutation.  It’s a pretty high number considering what the general population’s risks are.

The genetic counselor urged my father to test, but he never did.  He refused after my mother talked him out of testing.  How could someone be so selfish?  How could my father leave me in the dark wondering where this really came from?  How could they leave me in such emotional anguish and distress?  

I was frightened for my father on so many levels.  He had a heart attack and a bypass 11 years ago and here we go, all of a sudden, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  For years my mother did not want him to test. We all suspected it came from him but she didn’t want him to live with the guilt.  Now there was no hiding from cancer and BRCA. Everything that I was afraid of came to fruition.  

Since I’m pretty persistent, I decided that I would order the color test for him. My father did not want to go back to the hospital and see a genetic counselor.  He was fresh out of lung cancer surgery and still isn’t 100%.  The first sample we sent out didn’t meet color’s quality control test.  I thought I was going to loose my fucking shit.  I thought that it was as if someone was torturing me upstairs.  the second sample came to my house as I have requested and dad took the test again.  I had spit all over my hands after closing the fucking tube.  Thank goodness for soap.  Anyway, since this was his second sample, color said that they would try to push for his results to be ready before the 3-4 weeks as expected.  As promised, his results were ready yesterday.  A bit under three weeks and my dad’s results are in. My father has tested positive for BRCA2.  We now know who this came from.  I can now say that I have peace in my life and no longer wonder. 

IMG_4188.jpgMS the wordsIMG_4196.jpgIMG_3323.jpg

We are the dangerous Ones

IMG_3385So this blog is extra special to me. On February 11th, I went to a show that was absolutely empowering for me and for so many others who have been touched by breast cancer.  Project Cancerland was filled with women who were affected by breast cancer in one way or another. They had Survivors, Metavivors and two Mutantvivors who walked in the show.  The show benefited an organization called METavivor.  It is an incredible organization that raises money for Metastatic Breast Cancer. 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer.  1 out of 3 of those women will develop metastatic breast cancer regardless of screening or early detection.  This is absolutely unacceptable!!! Why does the only breast cancer that kills, get’s the least amount of funds for research? 41,400 people will die from Metastatic Breast Cancer. That’s 310 more women and 20 more men compared to 2017. 100% of the proceeds go to research, 100%!!!!. They do not spend frivolous money for advertising.  All the people who are involved are all volunteers.  

I have met some incredible women at the show.  Dana Donofree you did an absolutely amazing job with the show.  You fucking rocked it out of the ball park. I also met some of the ladies in my support group Mutant Strong! as well as other breasties who were just as amazing.  the atmosphere in the room was filled with so much love and so much of a warrior spirit that it’s just indescribable.IMG_3504.jpg

The after party was hosted in a beautiful loft.  Dana looked amazing in her white dress, but after all she is the boss lady and a designer.  Her dedication to the cause is absolutely contagious.  She herself is a breast cancer survivor.  She created her collection because she, like many of us, left the dressing room crying because no bra was comfortable or they look like old granny bras.  

It was an absolutely beautiful night.  The weather warmed up and the rain let up.  The New York sky was beautiful.  The rooms were elegant and filled with art pieces to be sold at the silent auction.  The party was amazing and the show was incredible, but after all the glitz and glamour wears off, reality kicks in. We still have a HUGE problem on our hands when it comes to Metastatic Breast Cancer.  There is much that needs to be done in order to stop this ugly beast from killing so many of us and our loved ones. When donating money, just please make sure you know where it’s going and how much of it actually goes to research.  Spread the word people. 

#Metsneedsmore #Dyingforacure #Stage4needsmore #Menhavebreasttoo #Mengetbreastcancertoo