My name is Alexandra and this is my story.
I am 29 and I have the BRCA1 gene mutation. I had a preventative mastectomy in June 2014.
I inherited the gene mutation from my mum who passed away from breast cancer nearly eight years ago at the age of 48. It was only when she was diagnosed with breast cancer that she looked into her family tree to discover her father had passed on the gene mutation to her and that many women in our family had either survived or died from breast cancer. She was not close to her extended family so never had a chance to make the connection earlier.
I feel lucky to have been able to make a choice about lowering my risk through surgery, a choice that my mother did not get to make. There was never a doubt in my mind that if I had the gene mutation I would have the preventative surgery. I simply could not live in fear of going through what I watched my mum go through. I also did not want my family to have to go through that experience again with anyone they loved.
Pink Hope helped arm me with all the resources I needed to make an informed decision and prepare me for what lay ahead.
I hope to have children soon and will then look at my options to reduce my risk of ovarian cancer, however for the moment I simply try to be grateful for every day I am alive and healthy.
I know my mum would be looking down on me, proud of the decisions I have made, and that gives me strength to be brave for whatever happens in the future.