This morning I went to the Levine Cancer Institute for a blood test and a session with a genetic counselor. In two weeks I'll know if I tested positive for a BRCA2 mutation.
I've had several people ask me how I'm holding up; how I feel about getting the genetic testing, and I have to be totally honest even if it sounds ridiculously optimistic--I've been looking forward to this, and I'm almost excited to hear how the blood work comes back. My counselor said something to me this morning that had already been on my mind for a while: knowing that you're BRCA positive doesn't mean anything except that you're more well-informed about your health.
For as long as I can remember, I have been deathly afraid of needles. The past few times I've had blood work done, I've walked so slowly and carefully that you'd think I was on my way to an electric chair. I usually have to lie down, and I toss and turn a few nights before, losing sleep over the anticipation of a simple couple of seconds. This time, however, I just didn't worry about it. I feel fortunate to have the access to a test that can give me potentially life-saving information. (Watching my mom recover from major surgery certainly helped me gain some perspective.)
So if my test comes back negative, I'll continue along with the same risk that most other women have. And if it's positive, we'll just go from there. But we'll know, and that's really something.