My name is Asia, I’m 22 years old, student, business owner, and I’m Brca1 positive.
During my summer break of 17 years old, I spent my time taking care of my aunt (my mom’s twin sister) who was post-surgery for a double mastectomy from a diagnosis of BRCA1 at age 46. At the early age of 19 years old, I began working at an Hematology-Oncology office where I learned about different types of cancers, treatments, preventative studies and links to cancer through genetic testing. It was probably the best job I ever had because I intend on becoming an RN myself someday. During that time, I met a lovely lady named Cindy (she’s in this group as well!!!). I remember I took her call that day, she was unfortunately diagnosed with breast CA and needed treatment. She has been, one of the most influential women I know for her head strong will power and knowledge , she’s given me a great deal of advice and references since then.
Fast forward 3 years later and I get a call from a family member that the same aunt whom had a double mastectomy has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was shocked! It was rare because we thought she had everything removed. On my 22nd birthday, we got a second from the oncologist I worked with, and he suggested because she is my mom’s twin that I should get tested as well. My results came back in two weeks and it was positive for BRCA1 mutation. I can admit , I was afraid, I became really depressed and I cried a lot…..and its very sensitive topic for me. However, with my family history and medical knowledge from my previous job, I knew exactly what must be done and cancer runs in my family so in the back of my mind, I was not surprised. My biggest fear was my fertility, the scars that I will have and my body image. I have four nieces and two nephews whom I love with all my heart and it brings me the biggest joy to watch them grow up. To know that I may miss out on that opportunity scared me because if you know me, you know I want to be a super mom someday, I’ve always dreamt of it. I talked with my boyfriend of 3 years and said “hey, this is what it is, I’m getting everything removed asap, you staying or leaving?! Because I want to have babies as soon as I graduate! And you have to still love me when I get a new set and I get emotional from the hot flashes.” And of course he said yes, he’s been my support 110% and he even learned everything with me to help as much as possible. I went back to that same breast cancer patient I met, Cindy, and told her everything and she introduced me to Tracy! Who has been so encouraging and informative with me and this group. I’m no longer scared, nervous yes. The women here have been so brave and empowering! My doctors have been very cautious with me and has educated me on my decisions from fertility to surgeries. I’m grateful to have met everyone through this group and to be working in the medical field, I wouldn’t be so aware without everyone and the doors that have been opened for me. Thank you everyone for your time and I look forward to the opportunities of helping inform as many people as possible regarding our stories and BRCA gene mutation.
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