My name is Carla and this is my story.
My mum was diagnosed at 33, in 1987, when I was only 3 years old. She survived after having a mastectomy and treatment. Talking about and playing with her wobbly prosthetic boobie was a normal and enjoyable part of my childhood. I was young and carefree until I got to 21, and decided after a talk with mum that we should look into what to do about me in relation to getting breast cancer. We went off to the Doctor who referred me to get an Ultrasound done, and all was good. 4 years later I was married and had a 1 year old son. I had another ultrasound with a clear result.
I then spent the next 2 years waiting in the public system to get genetic testing done.
This year (Feb 2012), I had finished breastfeeding my second son and decided to do the testing privately. I always thought it was ‘in the family’ seeing as though my mum had it so young and I also had a great Aunt and great Grandmother with breast cancer too. So I was slightly surprised when today we got the results back, and my mum had no BRCA gene mutation nor did the Geneticist suspect any other family gene fault.
This information is welcomed news, but now where does this leave me on my ‘journey’? I have no answer as to why my mother developed aggressive breast cancer so young. The Geneticist has given me a 16% risk of developing breast cancer which places me in the Moderately Increased Risk – Category 2.
My next Ultrasound and Mammogram is due tomorrow, and my course of action is to have yearly checks, and gain confidence in self-examination.
I do not know where my journey will take me, all I know is that I have a wonderful supportive husband and two beautiful young boys, and I need to start enjoying life and appreciate each day as they come.
I will be forever grateful to Pink Hope and all the amazing high risk women of Australia for all their help and support.