A lot of you have asked if I was done with my blog, and many of you have shared that you really hope I’m not. It’s meant so much more than I can adequately describe to hear your stories of the impact of my story. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I’m not done blogging. At the end of 2017, I started really digging into my genetic mutation. I was doing a lot of research, being connected with some amazing thought leaders and learning a lot. Research changes so quickly that it was interesting to see how much more is known now than when I was originally identified as having an ATM mutation. Unfortunately, I was also learning how much we still really don’t know.
As I learned more, I started to get conflicting opinions. Conflicting opinions on things that mattered a lot to me – like if we have children, we can potentially remove the ATM mutation by undergoing IVF, thus drastically decreasing the chance that breast cancer will wreak havoc on ANOTHER generation of my family. Some recommended it to us, others suggested ATM mutation or not, I probably still would have been diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. Then there are others who think my mutation could possibly indicate the increased likelihood of cancers in addition to breast cancer. It was too much, too confusing.
First of all, I sort of leaned on the genetic mutation. It sounds weird to say it that way but it’s a reason. It’s a reason something so nasty happened to me when I was so young. It was beyond my control. Then when someone says that they don’t actually believe it was the reason for my cancer – and that someone is a pretty big deal in the cancer genetics world – it was a little shattering.
Layer all that on the tiny sliver of a possibility that maybe I am more likely than the average person to get another type of cancer too and my brain was beginning to melt.
The reality is, we still don’t know what we don’t know and it’s incredibly frustrating and scary. But at the same time, we have come SO FAR. I know that but I just needed a minute to step away from all of this and recalibrate. I’ve spent the last few months channeling the serenity prayer.
After a few months, I think I have a better grasp of the difference and I am ready to keep going. Thanks for continuing on this crazy journey with me. More soon!