Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Customized Cancer Awareness Jewelry

The wonderful ladies in my BRCA+ groups (I omit the men only bc they haven't asked about jewelry ; ) have been asking about brca+ jewelry in gold. In my etsy shop SHUNTLA, 99% of what I make is gold. I can always custom make in silver or other metals as well.

Breast and Ovarian cancer may be a topic in my circle of life but can always make other styles and colors as well. I am happy to have this section in my shop as anything I can do to help make a positive thought on something so ugly is all worthwhile.

"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." {Margaret Thatcher} 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Prepping for Mastectomy

We already have mastectomy scheduled for May 1st! Getting extremely close.  I found this darling book to read to the girls. (At least the oldest one). I'll let you guys know if it's worth getting.
 I'm still not nervous as of yet. I'm mentally and physically prepared, however this weekend I have to get 4 wisdom teeth taken out before surgery! I'm more nervous about that than anything!  I'm just now getting use to the new menopause symptoms. Though rare I get a few hot flashes and teary eyed every now and then.

My sweet friends are throwing a pre-mastectomy party for good positive memories. I am pretty excited and positive myself.  I've never had a large chest and actually think I might miss my "model boobs". They are good for lots of clothes and especially when I run.  I was originally thinking of not doing reconstruction because I am okay with small boobs but they quickly assured me there is a difference with no boobs and small boobs. Now that I am doing reconstruction, I haven't a clue what size?! It will be over a month of recovery and growing so no hurry figuring it out now.

Friday, February 28, 2014

BSO Accomplished

Since my last post, I have had my first preventive operation. A BSO: Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy. Basically a hysterectomy but keeping uterus. It went AMAZINGLY well. I honestly would rather have that operation over and over before getting the flu. That's how easy it was for me.

Doctors say it was due to my health. Which makes sense, the healthier you maintain yourself, the easier surgeries will be.  The adrenal fatigue I had prior surgery actually helped me mentally prepare as well. I "lost it" only to regain composure when I needed it most. My sisters helped me with silly rituals like burning tampons in bonfire.
Seriously, we did it.

And my husband made sure to find my favorite cookies and have them "specially made".
Yes, that is a uterus with tubes and ovaries...

A sweet friend also handmade me this hilariously sweet stuffed gift which means the world to have her support.

They all made the who ordeal so much easier on me. I am on a very low dose of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and have yet to experience any sign of menopause. I am very lucky so far. In fact, I had trouble with insomnia before surgery and since I actually sleep better?! I really am finding I let my emotional side bother me more than physical. I can take physical pain but I bury my worries. Thus, since surgery I think I feel 100% just knowing I made the right decision to be proactive and that part is behind me. I couldn't be happier with my decision and outcome.

PS. Excuse Google's elimination of prior photos, yes, I'm sad about it....

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Finally a Correct Diagnosis!

Aside from the BRCA subject(although it ends up being related), I have been ill for about 7 months. Miserable to say at the least. I have everything going for me, amazing family, wonderful friends, proactive healthy lifestyle. You can imagine my frustrations of why am I sick emotionally and physically. We have been to endless doctors, many blood tests, x-rays, gyno visits as well as two ER trips with no answers as to why or what is starting it. I must mention I was hardly ever sick, probably the opposite of a hypochondriac yet I take care of myself fairly well and eat fairly healthy.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week

Per FORCE's website, "In 2010, history was made with FORCE’s successful effort to pass a Congressional resolution declaring the first-ever National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week and National Previvor Day."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What Is BRCA1 and BRCA2?

Everyone has the BRCA 1 & 2 gene, however not everyone tests positive.  A positive BRCA gene increases the risk of certain cancers.
A mutation carrier (BRCA+) has an 87% chance of getting breast cancer vs. 8% for general population.
Chances of a BRCA+ getting Ovarian Cancer is 44% vs. <2% for general population.
Males WITH positive gene only have 8% chance of getting breast cancer and my father did.

Carriers of the BRCA1 gene mutation have a slightly increased risk of ovarian cancer compared to those with BRCA2. But BRCA2 carriers have risks of different types of cancers, including pancreatic cancer and melanoma. For men with the BRCA2 mutation, there's a heightened risk of both prostate and breast cancers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Things First

I had a lot in my mind when finding out I was BRCA positive this year. I eventually started writing in "notes" on my phone app and have since grown more and more to accept it all. I've decided with some awesome BRCA "Sisters" references to share publicly for it makes a worlds difference when you hear the words, "me too". This first post is basically my phone copied onto this blog.