Member of the Month – December
I will forever remember Christmas of 2016, I received my blood test back testing positive for BRCA1 mutation. This was inherited from my father as he inherited from his mother. I have since discovered that my Great grandmother Mabel passed away from breast cancer at age 63, so she was likely a carrier also.
I was relieved that I had no siblings and had not had any children; I felt a sense of sadness for my mother as I am her only child and now I was ‘faulty’. I remember my mother constantly telling me to check my breasts as a teenager and I would roll my eyes at her and answer back like a typical teen. Now I am grateful that she instilled vigilance and awareness.
I remember my first screening at now what is the old RAH. I was rather embarrassed about being examined and having a mammogram for the first time, however I soon got over it and after 2 years of screening I certainly know the drill. I am 36 years old so my increase is on the rise; in 2017 I had my first cancer prevention operation to assist in reducing ovarian cancer.
After this I felt a sense of relief and that I had access to everything medical to keep me well. I am undecided about having a mastectomy and reconstruction, I like what I have. However I know they do put the rest of me in danger.
A message from Mel
I think finding out about my risks has made me want to live my life better, to do more, see and to value myself more.
“I am very grateful for Pink Hope. I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with the girls from Victoria, sometimes new friendships spring from something faulty.”