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Mardi’s Story

27 Jul 2018 by Krystal Barter
Mardi’s Story

6 years ago, my Aunty lost her battle with breast cancer. After her passing, my cousin Hayley pushed for genetic testing. This was not an easy process for her, however she had some success and she was able to have the genetic testing done. A BRCA 2 positive result had been found.

In 2016, ANOTHER Aunty had been diagnosed with breast cancer and treatment was successful. During this time, no genetic testing had been done. However, she recently underwent testing and a BRCA 2 positive result was detected. One of her daughters was also positive.

Hayley underwent all the scans required after a positive result and locked in her preventive measures. My Mum went along to an appointment with her so she too could have the testing done. As one could’ve guessed… it was another positive result for BRCA 2.

During mum’s scans, a lump was detected and a biopsy done.  Active breast cancer was found in her left nipple and lymph nodes and treatment very quickly commenced. Her double mastectomy, chemo and treatment were successful and she is now on the road to recovery.

And then there was me.

So, by this point in time, I’m thinking, best be booking in for my test. In September 2017, I hear those words- “family mutation in BRCA2 gene………..DETECTED” and so my journey begins.

Given our family history and the heartache of my mum currently going through treatment, my preventive decision was a no brainer. Double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery. Decision made easy. However, the emotions were a whole other story.

Having such a feminine part of my body removed, I felt anxiety, fear and grief. Yet, I felt confident that the decision I have made is the right one.

15th June 2018 I was booked in to have my surgery. The breast surgeon and plastic surgeon were absolutely amazing- I love and completely trusted them.

I am currently 3 weeks post bilateral mastectomy with tissue expanders, I have experienced a minor setback but taking each day as it comes and each day I am feeling stronger.  I’m blessed with a husband who has supported me 100%, looked after me and our 3-year-old son, making recovery a little more stress free.

Unfortunately, I have been struck with the gene mutation but there is always a positive in an unfortunate situation. My positives are that I am aware of the preventative measures to take care of my health and I have come across Pink Hope. I have met some very inspiring ladies and I am grateful for the support these ladies have given me during this journey. I hope I too, can support women alike and create more awareness of the BRCA gene mutation, especially in the smaller country town that surround my hometown.

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