I’ve always wanted to be a mutant. Growing up in the late 80s to early 90s every kid loved watching X-Men on Saturday morning cartoons. (Storm was the biggest badass and don’t even try to change my mind.) I always equated mutants with some super human ability. Little did I know that at the age of 34 my X-Men fantasy would be realized…sorta?
I always knew there was a family history of breast cancer. I didn’t exactly know what that meant but I knew my grandma on my biological dad’s side had died from breast cancer. I knew that my uncle also had breast cancer and his daughter as well. They were still pretty abstract people. I knew my grandma of course but I honestly don’t remember ever meeting my uncle. I also knew that my cousin was diagnosed at 35 but that was an age that seemed so grown and far away.
A month or so before my 34th birthday my little sister Jessica called me to tell me that our dad had tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation. In that instant I knew. I know, I know, it’s impossible to know with 100% certainty without a DNA test but, I’m 100% that bitch. A feeling of dread settled around me and I remember spending the rest of the field trip with my then 4th grader just feeling off.
I called an OBGYN immediately and the person that answered the phone had no idea what BRCA was. I tried to explain to her what it meant, what it meant for me and potentially my kids, and she just nonchalantly scheduled my appointment for a month away. A MONTH. Then, the day before my appointment the OBGYN’s office called to reschedule my appointment. FOR ANOTHER MONTH AWAY. I was so upset. I understand that doctors cancel but all I needed was a dang blood test. TWO MONTHS? I cancelled my appointment and now have some notes in my file with Sacred Heart that I was a bitch on the phone. I called another OBGYN in Panama City and they not only were aware of what the BRCA mutations were but they had a lab in house and also 3D mammography. It felt like a blessing in disguise.
Obviously, my test result confirmed what my gut knew. I was a mutant. I had this mutation that increased my risk of breast cancer to around 79%. I guess that’s some super human ability, eh? It’s funny that the looming 35 year mark was not so abstract it was coming right up.
Knowing I was a mutant was one thing. That knowledge did wield some power. Sure it’s not the absolutely badass power to manipulate the weather but the power to reduce my risk of breast cancer from around 80% to less than 6%.