Years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, a few years later, she passed from the resubmission of cancer that caused a serious amount of concerns. After her passing, I remembered her telling me that my health is very important and to get checked regularly. Each year I would religiously go to my annual appointment to get my pap. During one of my visits, my doctor mentioned a test known as the BRAC Gene test or the Breast Cancer Test.
What is BRCA
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce proteins that help repair damaged DNA. The BRCA test helps identify if the genes are mutated which will then help aid in what advances to take afterward.
The Long Fight
When I decided to take the test, the first time, I had a hard time with my insurance company. One thing that qualified me for the test was a blood relative that either had the mutation or breast cancer themselves. Well, you would think that I would qualify since my mom did have it, but they wanted more. It was a challenging fight, they would only agree to pay up to $300.00 and I believe the test was somewhere close to the thousands, so I just gave up.
A couple of years after the whole back and forth with my then insurance company, I was no longer with them and that’s when I found out I was pregnant. I was well over 6 months, and I had to see a specialist for a test due to a few complications during my pregnancy. As I was talking with him, he mentioned the long list of family history and ask why I never took the test, I explained my experience and with no hesitation, he got me scheduled to take it. I did have to list other family members, yet again to prove that I qualified but I had my full list ready this time.
During the waiting period, I was nervous. What would I do if the results aren’t what I wanted to hear? Will this affect my baby and how are we going to work through it? My mind was literally spinning, not to mention hormones.
On the next visit, my results came in and I was negative, and I was so happy with relief. But I promised myself I would get mammograms when the time comes.
I’m so grateful that the doctor took the time to convince me to retake the test. Breast cancer runs deep in my family. I’ve lost someone who was the world to anyone she encountered, and I miss her so much. I know she would have pushed me to take the test as well and would want me to continue to tell her story so that people can understand the importance of not giving up easily and that someone will eventually say yes.
Have you heard of the BRCA gene test? Make sure you talk to your doctor on how to take it.