You may have heard of this testing because of the publicity it received when Angelina Jolie recently hacked off her boobies after testing positive. If you haven't heard of it, BRCA 1 & 2 are genes that have been linked to increased risks for certain cancers, namely breast and ovarian, but also pancreatic and prostate. Read more about it here...
(Click to Enlarge)
|Myriad.com- Risk Factor Comparison|
(Click to Enlarge)
You should consider BRCA testing if...
- A personal history of breast cancer at age 50 or younger
- A personal history of triple negative breast cancer
- A personal or family history of male breast cancer
- A personal or family history of bilateral breast cancer (cancer in both breasts)
- A personal history of ovarian cancer
- A parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or first cousin diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45 or younger
- A mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, granddaughter, aunt, niece or first cousin diagnosed with ovarian cancer
- A family history of both breast and ovarian cancers on the same side of the family (either mother's or father's side of the family)
- Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and a family history of breast or ovarian cancer
My mom was diagnosed with Stage IIIB ovarian cancer at age 45 and died at 52. Her aunt died from breast cancer at age 46. I am unsure of further familial history on that side, because although my mom had like ten siblings, she was adopted as a baby. Additionally, my mom did not have the BRCA testing done, which leaves a giant ?. Since she didn't have genetic testing done, my sisters and I have no way of knowing if we carry either of the genes linked to these cancers (it's passed down). You can read more info. on the Komen website if you care to.
Another reason I decided to do it now is that we happen to have some pretty damn good insurance right now, although it's only temporarily being provided through COBRA. Remember how my hubby got let go from his company of 9 years conveniently when I was newly preggo? Well, they at least covered our health insurance via COBRA through the birth of this baby. It was the least they could do if you ask me. Hubby did get another job shortly after that (we thought everything was golden at that point!) but he was then let go again very soon after (Yep, complete asshats). Thankfully we never dropped our COBRA coverage. Phew!
Needless to say, there's no real source of income for us right now, but we are very blessed to have outstanding health coverage through Sept. 30th....$0 deductible, 100% maternity coverage, etc. So, I figured I better take advantage of awesome insurance while we have it! The BRACAnalysis is not cheap. It runs roughly $4000+, but as I stalk my claims online, it looks like our insurer is going to cover it 100%. Say a prayer that this pending claim turns green sometime this century please. I'm checking daily, and I think it should go through!
|C'mon, turn green!|
I'm really glad I had the testing done, especially because (drumroll please)...
|In the clear! woo hoo!|
I was found to have NO MUTATIONS for BRCA 1 & 2!!! When we got the call, I put the phone on speaker so hubby could hear the results alongside me. I cried tears of joy (which I did not expect at all) but they just bursted out. I think in that moment, I was just thinking of everything my mom went through in her 7 years of ovarian cancer treatment. I am grateful that I won't have to make any hard decisions regarding removal of my reproductive organs now, or even after having kiddos. Realistically, this negative result does not guarantee I won't get cancer like both of my parents, but it does remove the greatly increased risks that would have been present if I did have the BRCA gene(s).
It's moments like those that help keep what's important in life in perspective. Hubby may be out of a job right now. We haven't really known how we're going to live, where we're going to live, etc. since February. Will we have to move? Will we make it out alive financially before we blow through our savings and lose our benefits? We've had to change a lot about the way we live our day-to-day. But, in the whole scheme of things, those "problems" just pale so much in comparison to the fact that we're both healthy, happy, and expecting a miracle in our lives any day now. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, more important than our health and the love that we share. Period!
And on an even brighter note, we got to see the belly ninja today. Even though we are seeing our OB weekly now, and they are performing BPP's (biophysical profile u/s) weekly, this may be our last official growth scan. It was one of my favorite apts. of this entire pregnancy.
During the BPP, they check for breathing, movement, responsiveness, and amniotic fluid levels. They like to see baby practice breathing at least once during the test. Babies tend to practice breathing about 30 sec. at a time during this stage. Preston was breathing steadily the entire test and did not stop once. This didn't surprise me, because I can see/feel him breathing all the time these days. I can literally watch his back going up and down through my belly. It's pretty surreal. Amniotic fluid looked excellent, and he was moving all over the entire test. He scored 8 out of 8 and passed with flying colors.
As far as growth goes, we were asked yet again "Um, has this baby been measuring big?" Yep, he's a fatty! I pressed the u/s tech on how much these u/s measurements can be off, and she was adamant that they usually guess within 1/2 lb from what she's seen (not the 2 lb. differential I hear many moms speaking of). So the head scratcher from what moms say vs. what all the medical professionals say continues. Only time will tell, but as of today he's supposedly already weighing 7 lb. 11 oz. and his head is in the 97th percentile of growth. He's in the 77th % of growth overall and is measuring 38 wks + 4 days (8 days ahead).
One thing we all agreed on is that most of the weight must be in his cute chubby cheeks. We saw him yawning a few times and opening his eyes...firsts for us. It's just amazing to see him maturing right before our eyes. I can tell he's really getting ready to meet us here in the real world. We are so in love and can't wait to meet him!
Preston = hb @ 173 bpm (moving around A LOT!)
= scored 8 out of 8 on biophysical profile u/s
= head down and low on mom's bladder
= measuring 38 wks + 4 days
= weighs 7 lbs. 11 oz!
Mom = weight @ 158 (28 lbs. gained)
= bp @ 118/76
= 0% effaced, 0 cm dilated (cervix still closed tightly)