My name is Emma. This is my story.
I am 38 years old and have two beautiful children, Scarlett who is nearly seven, and Samuel who is four. I also have a wonderful, supportive husband and family.
Both my Grandma, and my Aunty (on my dads side) have passed away from breast cancer. My Aunty underwent genetic testing that showed she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation. This then followed on with my Dad testing positive, and then myself. It was originally thought that my Grandma had passed the gene fault onto my dad and Aunty, but we have since found out that it came from my Grandfather, my Dad’s Dad. My Grandfathers sister also passed away from ovarian cancer. My sister has been tested but is in the clear. My brother is yet to be tested.
When I first found out about my positive BRCA status I was disappointed, but not shocked. For some reason I felt the result would be positive. The worst part for me was the fear I would pass this on to my children.
Both age, and anxiety have played a roll in my decision making process with BRCA1. It can be difficult living with the thoughts of such a high risk of developing cancer. The anxiety I felt about these risks steadily increased with time, so I sought out the best possible medical advice, and decisions were made to undergo preventative surgeries.
I underwent my preventative mastectomy and reconstruction in October 2013. As much as it was difficult at the time, I would not change a thing! I’m so pleased I did it!
Earlier this year, in February 2016, I underwent a full hysterectomy. Once again, thanks to an amazing surgeon, and extremely supportive family and friends this all went really well.
I have no regrets about my preventative surgeries and my anxiety has been greatly reduced.
Pink Hope has instilled in me the motto, ‘knowledge is power’. I feel this is so true for me, having the knowledge of my BRCA1 status I have been given the power to change my future.
The Pink Hope family is an amazingly supportive one. Throughout my journey I have found the information available through Pink Hope, and the support and friendship from the girls to be invaluable.
I will be forever grateful to my beautiful Aunty for having the genetic testing done before she passed away, and giving me the opportunity to be proactive and take control of my health.