Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tv show extravaganza

The story goes like this......for years I have been thinking about breast cancer. My mom first got breast cancer when she was 42. I have had two mammograms just as a precaution. As I get older cancer is definitely something that is on my mind. I first heard about the BRCA gene testing a few years ago but the facts were that it was expensive $4000 not covered by insurance and could be used as a pre existing condition. I didn't know how this testing would happen but I really wanted it to happen. I had an idea to write into a tv show about our family story and inquire about getting the gene testing as a way to make it happen. A few months ago I did it and wrote into The Doctors tv show I thought the topic was interesting and would be a good discussion to have. Our story is like this.....My moms older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer first she had a lumpectomy and chemo for her treatment. About two months later my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, at the time it was called DCIS (ductal carcinoma In-Situ) which means a precancerous condition in the milk ducts. She was given a lumpectomy and radiation. A few months later a mammogram revealed more cancer in that breast which meant mastectomy on the one side and more radiation but her survival rate was in the high 90%. A few months later my moms younger sister was diagnosed with the exact same cancer as my mom and she had a mastectomy. As we all know 8 years later the cancer returned as a lump in my mom's neck that was stage 4 cancer and terminal. ( I didn't accept this fact at the time). Cancer is on my mind a lot. I seem to plan for the worst and hope for the best. After writing into the show they called us to be on and have the BRCA testing done. They came to my sisters house here in Utah with a film crew and filmed us over one day talking about mom and her story and what it would mean to us to find out if we carried the gene. It was fun to tell mom's story. We went on the show last Friday. It was crazy and nerve racking to find out the results on tv. We went into the show early in the morning and had hair and make up done. We met with the producer to go over what we would be talking about and my sisters and I didn't really know what we were going to say. We watched our story on the tv behind stage for a minute before we went out. It was emotional even at that moment. We went on stage and met with Dr. Travis Stork who is the host of the show. Also there was Dr.Funk who was Angelina Jolie's Dr. and did her mastectomy. There was another female dr on stage. They asked us questions about breast cancer and what actions we would take. I think it went well. It went really fast only about 10 minutes and we were done and headed back to the hotel. I am excited to see it when it airs and hope it comes across well. It was a fun and stressful experience but I am grateful to be able to share my mom's story. By the way we were all negative! Yeah!!!!! We still have a family history breast cancer risk but it is a lower risk without the BRCA gene!