Every woman, by virtue of being a woman, has a 12% chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime, and a 2% chance of getting ovarian cancer. For 90% of women who get cancer, it is not genetic.
There are, however, six genes that — if mutated or damaged — indicate a 40% chance of getting breast or ovarian cancer. Four of these genetic mutations produce visible signs, the other two can be found with a blood test.
Since I got breast cancer, it may be that I am one of the 12% who have a genetic mutation. If I do, this has implications for everyone I share blood with. Particularly scary is the ovarian cancer, because that is an extremely lethal form of cancer — mostly because they can’t spot it until it is a Stage 3 cancer, and there are few options at that point.
So I am normal, with a normal chance of getting a new cancer. YAY.
Yesterday (Monday) was 5 days post-chemo, and so far things are going remarkably similar to how they went the first time ’round. Saturday evening I started getting the achy bones, so I went on Dilaudid right away. When I woke up yesterday no painkiller was needed. Yes, just like that.
I was quite tired all day — not the same as the enervating lassitude of Saturday (the worst day) — but a literal tiredness. Chemo, and the steroids, upsets my sleep cycle — I keep having to get up in the night, about every 90 mins-2 hours. I rest, but I don’t get the really good REM/dream sleep.
Last night I went down for a good 4-5 hours at a time. Heaven.
In other good news: I got the genetic test results back from my counselor. (OOPS. I never mentioned this. OK, upcoming post.)
For now: I am not mutated. I am normal. Seriously, this is the FIRST good health news I’ve gotten since late August. It is VERY good news.