Breast Cancer BRCA1 Mutation Journey Continues in March

Breast Cancer BRCA1 Mutation: Dr Bailey Breast Cancer and BRCA stories

Having dodged a big bullet with the excellent response of my hereditary and aggressive triple negative breast cancer and chemotherapy, I face yet another peril in March…

I’m still basking in the glow of that great pathology report on my breast tissue and lymph nodes at the same time I’m moving forward with my BRCA medical care –  meaning I have another surgery coming up.

As a breast cancer survivor with the BRCA 1 gene mutation (BRCA is the breast and ovarian cancer gene) I also have a 40% lifetime risk of developing ovarian and fallopian tube cancer. Part of my cancer care means those tubes and ovaries need to come out, ideally before they develop cancer. This is especially true in light of the recently published paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that clearly found we BRCA 1 mutation gals are most likely to suffer an ovarian/tubal cancer misadventure between the age of 50 and 59. Well, I’m smack dab in the middle of that decade so out they come, pronto! And, I’m worrying.

Try as I may to calm my nerves, once bitten by the cancer snake I am leery when possibly facing it again with my BRCA-vulnerable organs. I’m doing all the things I did to calm my nerves for the double mastectomy, but frankly, the pathology reports make me more nervous than the surgery so I’m jittery again. The initial ovary/tube surgery (called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) is planned to be a simple laparoscopic procedure, which, if all goes well should not be too bad. But, finding ovarian cancer in my ovaries could mean a subsequent huge abdominal surgery and 6 more months of chemo. Yikes! I find tears a little close to the surface if I let myself think about it.

Blessings In Spite of Breast Cancer: Thanks for Prayers

My ovaries and tubes are scheduled for removal March 12th so I’m busy saying prayers for a good pathology report. If they are clean, I can see a light at the end of this tunnel and a future starting to take form that includes a return to doctoring, which I love. If not, well, I get more of the same that I’ve had for the past 6 months only on a body and spirit still working back to its original strength. There were many wonderful blessings had in that portion of my journey so it wasn’t all bad; I know any future will include unexpected blessings, but oh how I’d like it to not include more cancer treatment.

So, fingers and toes are crossed, diet and exercise are being honed for maximal vitality and praying is ongoing. Wish me luck………

To read more about my mid-life breast cancer BRCA1 mutation surprise journey with tips to help you and loved ones too, click on the posts below.

(Thanks for sharing and republishing the articles)

Breast Cancer


Health, Wellness and Philanthropy Dr. Bailey Recommends

  Thank you all for your comments, Facebook Likes, G+, Tweets and sharing with anyone on the journey or concerned about breast cancer, ovarian cancer and the BRCA1 mutations. We are all in this together.



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4 Responses to “Breast Cancer BRCA1 Mutation Journey Continues in March”

  1. Carol Compton March 5, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    After my first cancer which included chemo and radiation, I, too, felt blessed but I did ask God not to bless me that way again! My second breast cancer diagnosis was a new cancer, not a reoccurance, and in the very early stages. I had a mastectomy and am taking femara (which I hate but it is nothing compared to chemo). I know what you mean about the pathology reports being the scary part. I remember screaming at my answering machine because it was one of my oncologists asking me to call him back after a procedure!

  2. Cynthia Bailey March 5, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    Carol, I can so relate. Just reading your words about the answering machine brings it all back. I had a friend with me when I got the breast cancer call and I totally fell apart with the very first term “high grade” ….. cancer. I knew what it meant as a doctor and I collapsed. She had to take the rest of the information. Here I go again. I’ll meet whatever but I sure do hope to be spared. Dear Lord, may it be so.

  3. carol woessner March 5, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    You have many praying for your complete recovery with no more need for chemo. I am one of those many and I know God hears each prayer. I’m so thankful to have been the beneficiary of your doctoring for so many years–now I want to do the best I can for you–which is pray. I’m looking forward to reading your next post.

  4. Kathy K March 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Dr. Bailey: I will be thinking and praying for you. I hate you having to go through another surgery. I know you are a strong woman but your beautiful body and soul have been through too much already. I pray for strength and hope that your recovery is speedy and that there is no more chemo in your future. I know your patients must miss you so much. I sure do.–Kathy K