Breast Cancer BRCA1 Mutation Journey Continues in March

Cynthia Bailey, MD|March 4, 2014

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


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  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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